Mark Ronan
Latest Theatre Reviews

Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, June 2015

June 30, 2015

After the superb Proms concert performance of this opera four years ago, under Pappano with some of the same cast, this keenly anticipated new production fell sadly short. A black-clad SWAT team with machine guns — seen it before. Lighting from stage rear that glares out at the audience — seen it before. On-stage characters not …

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Samson et Delila, Grange Park Opera, GPO, June 2015

June 25, 2015

Chutzpah is the word for Grange Park this summer. First they manage to attract Bryn Terfel to the main role in Fiddler on the Roof, then they decide to take on Samson et Delila, which requires first rate singers in both main roles and is a difficult opera to stage. This is perhaps why director …

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La Bohème, Grange Park Opera, GPO, June 2015

June 20, 2015

There seem to have been a plethora of Bohèmes recently. The one by English Touring Opera last autumn shows a performance can tug unbearably on the heart-strings accompanied by only the simplest of sets, and the final run of John Copley’s Covent Garden production shows that even with the most glorious sets and world’s top …

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Latest Journalism

Fiddler and the proof

A connection between the Yiddish world of Fiddler on the Roof and one of the great quests in modern mathematics. Standpoint Magazine, July/Aug 2015, p. 89.

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The Rise and Fall of Nimrud

The wanton destruction of this once great city in ancient Assyria leaves a hole in history. History Today, June 2015, p. 7.

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Revenge not redemption is message of new Parsifal in Berlin

Wagner’s Parsifal is about redemption and renewal, but this new production by Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov adds a jarring note — revenge. Telegraph, 29 March 2015.

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The ultimate space explorer

The brilliantly creative Alexander Grothendieck died recently after reshaping mathematics and then withdrawing from society. Standpoint Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015, p. 89

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This is the story of a mathematical quest that began two hundred years ago in revolutionary France, led to the biggest collaboration ever between mathematicians across the world, and revealed the ‘Monster’ – not monstrous at all, but a structure of exquisite beauty and complexity.

This book tells for the first time the fascinating story of the biggest theorem ever to have been proved. Mark Ronan graphically describes not only the last few decades of the chase, but also some of the more interesting byways, including my personal favourite, the one I called “Monstrous Moonshine”.

John H. Conway, von Neumann Chair of Mathematics, Princeton University

2014 is Richard Strauss’s sesqui-centenary year — here are links to recent reviews of several Strauss operas:

Elektra, Royal Opera, Sept 2013.

Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera Mar 2014.

Der Rosenkavalier, Glyndebourne, May 2014.

Die Liebe der Danae, Frankfurt, June 2014.

Der Rosenkavalier, BBC Proms, July 2014.

Salome, BBC Proms, 30 August 2014.

Elektra, BBC Proms, 31 August 2014.

Plus a forthcoming article in the January 2015 issue of History Today.