Mark Ronan
Latest Theatre Reviews

Saul, Glyndebourne, GFO, July 2015

July 30, 2015

When Handel first produced this oratorio in 1738 the audience would have been completely au fait with the Biblical story of Saul, the king of a people previously presided over by judges and prophets such as Samuel, who anointed him as their first king. He also anointed David as his successor, but in the oratorio …

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Lohengrin, Bayreuth Festival, July 2015

July 27, 2015

Following the hugely successful season opener of Tristan und Isolde the previous night — see my review in the Telegraph — it was a pleasure once again to see Hans Neuenfels’ 2010 production of Lohengrin, now on its final lap before leaving the repertoire. With the folk of Brabant represented as rats and mice, along …

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Mack and Mabel, Chichester Festival Theatre, CFT, July 2015

July 22, 2015

What a wonderful breath of fresh air — an ultimately tragic story but brimming with self-confidence, energy and sparkle. How very different from the recent Covent Garden production of Rossini’s William Tell where superb music and singing was ruined by a flat-footed production team trying to be intellectual. Real cleverness relies on stagecraft, lighting and …

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Latest Journalism

Tristan und Isolde, Bayreuth Festival, review: ‘hugely moving’

Will a Wagnerian triumph keep Bayreuth in the family? Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2015, p. B15

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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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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.