Richard Davis is admirably determined that major Australian musical artists whose careers were attenuated by illness should not fade into oblivion. In Wotan’s Daughter (2012), he chronicled the career of Marjorie Lawrence, afflicted by polio just as she had become one of the world’s leading dramatic sopranos. Now, in Close to the Flame, he has given us a biography of Stuart Challender (1947–91), whose undoubted talent was beginning to be recognised internationally as he succumbed to AIDS. But whereas Lawrence’s pre-polio performances took place entirely overseas, the major part of Challender’s career was in Australia, and his influence on Australian performers and composers was profound.
Ian Dickson reviews 'Close to the Flame: The life of Stuart Challender' by Richard Davis
Close to the Flame: The life of Stuart Challender
by Richard Davis
Wakefield Press, $45 hb, 243 pp, 9781743054567
Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.
If you are already a subscriber, click here, or on the ‘Log In’ tab in the top right hand corner of the screen, and enter your username and password to log in. If you have logged in but are still seeing this message your subscription to ABR Online may have expired. Please contact us or click here to renew your subscription to ABR Online. More information about ABR Online can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.