Mark Ronan
Latest Theatre Reviews

La Bohème, Calleja and Netrebko, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, May 2015

May 24, 2015

John Copley’s 1974 production of La Bohème — the longest-running in the Royal Opera’s repertoire — has been 41 years with the Company, and this farewell run is the last chance to see those glorious period sets by Julia Trevelyan Oman. Sad, but at least the ROH is giving it a great send-off by starting …

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Poliuto, Glyndebourne, GFO, May 2015

May 22, 2015

Composed for Naples in 1838, but banned because of the subject matter, it took another ten years before a production of the original was mounted in Italy, just a few months after Donizetti’s death. In the meantime Paris had taken it on as a grand opera under the title Les Martyrs, with a new text …

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Carmen, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, May 2015

May 21, 2015

The energy and insight of Richard Armstrong’s conducting carries all before it in this revival of Calixto Bieito’s production, first seen two and a half years ago. That and the excellent portrayal of Don José by American tenor Eric Cutler, whose voice and stage presence carry a nobility at odds with the rough machismo of …

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Latest Journalism

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.