Mark Ronan
Latest Theatre Reviews

Turandot, Bregenz Festival, July 2016

July 23, 2016

Opening the Bregenz festival was Franco Faccio’s Hamlet in the 1,800 seat Festspielhaus — see my Telegraph review — followed by Turandot on the vast Seebühne (Lake Stage), visible to an open-air audience of nigh on 7,000, on the second night. The main part of the stage is relatively close to the water, but the …

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La Cenerentola, Opera Holland Park, OHP, July 2016

July 15, 2016

Rossini’s delightful Cenerentola is just the thing for Opera Holland Park, particularly in this charming a witty Oliver Platt production brought to life by a fine cast. The splendid designs by Neil Irish contrast the black, white and silver of the courtiers in the ball scene, with the garish colours of the ugly sisters and …

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Tristan und Isolde, Grange Park Opera, July 2016

July 14, 2016

What a superb end to the season, their last at The Grange before moving to the Theatre in the Woods now being constructed at West Horsley Place in Surrey. This Company really knows how to do things, and when Anja Kampe as Isolde, and Clive Bayley as King Marke had to pull out, they found …

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I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Buxton Opera Festival, July 2016

July 10, 2016

After Bellini’s unexpected failure with his 1829 opera Zaira, based on Voltaire’s tragedy from a century earlier, the following year saw a new opportunity with an opera for the 1830 Carnival season in Venice. Unfortunately he had but a month and a half to prepare it, so his librettist Felice Romani rewrote an earlier text …

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Latest Journalism

A marvellous lost Hamlet opera, rediscovered

A review of the opening night production of Franco Faccio’s Hamlet at the Bregenz Festival. Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2016.

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The One-Eyed Maths Monster

Leonard Euler became the presiding genius at the Academy of St Petersburg founded by Peter the Great, then in Berlin under Frederick the Great, before returning to St Petersburg under Empress Catherine the Great. Standpoint magazine, July/August 2016, p. 85.

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It wasn’t Pi in the sky after all

This article about young mathematical genius Ramanujan (1887–1920) coincides with the release of  The Man Who Knew Infinity, a new movie about his life. Standpoint magazine, April 2016, p. 70

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Feature

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


Truth and Beauty: The Hidden World of Symmetry

On the face of it, symmetry may seem simple, but diving beneath the surface reveals a whole new world. Over the last 100 years, the mathematical idea of symmetry has proved to be a guiding light for the world of physics. But what does a mathematician mean by symmetry? How does this link in with the world around us? And could it be the key to the mysterious ‘Theory of Everything’?

This was a BBC Radio programme on Symmetry in the Naked Scientists series. Here is the link