RHSV AGM, connecting through ZOOM
May 19 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Our 2020 Weston Bate Oration has been cancelled. However the AGM will be going ahead, on 19 May, through ZOOM so we will be sending, by email, a link to all members so that they can join in our AGM through the web (either video or audio) and participate in the AGM, ask questions of the Council etc.
MELBA, CELEBRITY, AND THE ECLIPSE OF HEROES
If one sets aside the antics of Rupert Murdoch, it is Dame Nellie Melba who has the best claim to be considered the most famous Australian. She was the world’s leading soprano when opera was at its apogee, in the years up to World War I, and the first major singer to see the potentialities of recording. On her 159th birthday Jim Davidson considers the elements of Melba’s fame, and her achievement, then asks a number of questions. Do different times require different heroes? Is the culture of celebrity the democratisation of fame? What might a roll-call of celebrated Australians and ‘heroes’ look like now?
The RHSV is delighted that Jim Davidson will deliver the 2020 Weston Bate Oration.
Jim Davidson has held a number of academic appointments in Melbourne and beyond, and from 1974 to 1982 was editor of Meanjin. He is the author of the prizewinning biographies A Three-Cornered Life: The Historian WK Hancock (2010) and Lyrebird Rising: Louise Hanson-Dyer of Oiseau-Lyre (1994). His other books include A Führer for a Father (a family memoir), and range from tourism, postcards, and Sydney and Melbourne comparisons, to the novelist Anthony Trollope in South Africa. He is now completing a double biography on Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland, literary editors in Melbourne. A former opera critic of the Age, he wrote the entry on Melba for the Australian Dictionary of Biography.