Press

Dead Man Walking

Ken Cazan’s evocative and efficient staging, John Baril and the festival orchestra’s spirited and well-shaded palette, and the Colorado Children’s Chorale underscore the emotional punch.
— Bob Bows ColoradoDrama.com July, 2014

Dead Man Walking

The lines are a Stephen Sondheim-style puzzle of interruption and overlap that is put together with stunning precision. The show also has influences of Bernstein, Gershwin and, in one of its lighter moments, Elvis Presley. It is that mix of Broadway liveliness and cinematic intimacy that define this work (and many recent American operas). The music swells and stops to drive emotion the way a movie score does. At Central City, conductor John Baril let his orchestra play as if it were recording a soundtrack and it sounded melodramatic in all the right ways.
— Ray Mark Rinaldi Denver Post July, 2014

Dead Man Walking

Saturday night’s opening of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” performed with the composer in attendance, was an emotionally shattering but spiritually edifying experience of a kind that is rarely repeated. CCO Music Director John Baril leads the orchestra through Heggie’s dense but melodius score, making sure that the music’s difficulty does not draw attention to itself or away from the story and its characters. Although it sounds like a modern opera, no audience member will leave without subconsciously humming some tune or other, possibly the unforgettable hymn “He Will Gather Us Around,” maybe the heaving descents of the parents’ laments, or even the restless five-note figures that open the opera and constantly return.
— Kelly Dean Hansen The Boulder Daily Camera July, 2014

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril’s expansive reading brought its own rewards;[the] contrasting swift tempo adopted for “Mi tradì” proved most telling…
— Opera News October, 2008

Don Giovanni

Mozart has too much wit and humor, and his lines are too pure and transcendent to cloy. Some people say this is the greatest opera – perhaps the greatest piece of music – ever written, and they’ll get no argument from me. And under the sure baton of John Baril, Central City Opera has assembled voices that do the score justice.
— Westword July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril delivers a well-paced and sensible interpretation of this tragi-comic masterwork.
— ColoradoDrama.com July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril keeps things moving at a brisk, but never hurried, pace.
— Rocky Mountain News July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Fitting then that the Opera’s burgeoning music director, John Baril, should deliver his finest effort to date conducting from the pit for Don Giovanni.
— Weekly Peak – KCME-FM 88.7 July, 2006

Gianni Schicchi; Seven Deadly Sins

John Baril conducted a bracing and convincing Schicchi; Baril’s musicians gave Weill’s score good value.
— Opera November, 2011

Goyescas

John Baril’s …orchestra caught fire in the Granados, [and] “Goyescas” became a memorable dramma per musica, a coup de theatre. Perfect was the word for Baril’s direction of the Granados score on Tuesday.
— sfcv.org July, 2003

Goyescas

John Baril’s …orchestra caught fire in the Granados, [and] “Goyescas” became a memorable dramma per musica, a coup de theatre. Perfect was the word for Baril’s direction of the Granados score on Tuesday.
— San Francisco Post Newspapers July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril conducted with assurance.
— Opera News October, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

Central City’s orchestra has some fine first chair players but the overall standard of musicianship was less than perfect. Nevertheless, John Baril elicited energetic playing from the group.
— Opera Japonica July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril’s commedia troupe sang, acted, posed and moved with conviction…Baril and his outstanding orchestra brought a wonderfully rich tone to the two operas, particularly the rarely heard Granados. The first interlude is a lovely Spanish divertimento…
— Andante.com July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril’s commedia troupe sang, acted, posed and moved with conviction…Baril and his outstanding orchestra brought a wonderfully rich tone to the two operas, particularly the rarely heard Granados. The first interlude is a lovely Spanish divertimento…
— Rocky Mountain News July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

And conductor John Baril extracts from the pit a sound as voluptuous as might be heard in Bayreuth.
— Boulder Daily Camera July, 2003

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Musically, John Baril managed the music and the singing and the often-wild stage happenings with a solid baton, the members of the Virginia Symphony responding energetically and providing Rossini’s score appropriate vibrancy and vitality.
— M. Shulson Virginia Gazette November, 2016

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Virginia Opera’s new production of Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” which opened Friday at the Harrison Opera House, has it all: truly gorgeous singing, John Baril’s crisp conducting, Michael Shell’s inventive direction and, not least, laughs galore. The orchestra of Virginia Symphony Orchestra players, under Baril’s baton, bring out all of Rossini’s verve, vitality and speed.
— M D Ridge The Virginian-Pilot November, 2016

Il barbiere di Siviglia

[Marc] Astafan worked with his obviously willing cast to infuse its famous characters with a real sense of zing. Together with conductor John Baril, they created a production that was zany and fun.
— Kyle MacMillan Opera News October, 2013

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Conductor John Baril wielded effective control, and the orchestra performed incisively.
— Peter Alexander Boulder Weekly July, 2013

  • Select an Opera

  • Select an Opera

Dead Man Walking

Ken Cazan’s evocative and efficient staging, John Baril and the festival orchestra’s spirited and well-shaded palette, and the Colorado Children’s Chorale underscore the emotional punch.
— Bob Bows ColoradoDrama.com July, 2014

Dead Man Walking

The lines are a Stephen Sondheim-style puzzle of interruption and overlap that is put together with stunning precision. The show also has influences of Bernstein, Gershwin and, in one of its lighter moments, Elvis Presley. It is that mix of Broadway liveliness and cinematic intimacy that define this work (and many recent American operas). The music swells and stops to drive emotion the way a movie score does. At Central City, conductor John Baril let his orchestra play as if it were recording a soundtrack and it sounded melodramatic in all the right ways.
— Ray Mark Rinaldi Denver Post July, 2014

Dead Man Walking

Saturday night’s opening of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” performed with the composer in attendance, was an emotionally shattering but spiritually edifying experience of a kind that is rarely repeated. CCO Music Director John Baril leads the orchestra through Heggie’s dense but melodius score, making sure that the music’s difficulty does not draw attention to itself or away from the story and its characters. Although it sounds like a modern opera, no audience member will leave without subconsciously humming some tune or other, possibly the unforgettable hymn “He Will Gather Us Around,” maybe the heaving descents of the parents’ laments, or even the restless five-note figures that open the opera and constantly return.
— Kelly Dean Hansen The Boulder Daily Camera July, 2014

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril’s expansive reading brought its own rewards;[the] contrasting swift tempo adopted for “Mi tradì” proved most telling…
— Opera News October, 2008

Don Giovanni

Mozart has too much wit and humor, and his lines are too pure and transcendent to cloy. Some people say this is the greatest opera – perhaps the greatest piece of music – ever written, and they’ll get no argument from me. And under the sure baton of John Baril, Central City Opera has assembled voices that do the score justice.
— Westword July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril delivers a well-paced and sensible interpretation of this tragi-comic masterwork.
— ColoradoDrama.com July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Conductor John Baril keeps things moving at a brisk, but never hurried, pace.
— Rocky Mountain News July, 2006

Don Giovanni

Fitting then that the Opera’s burgeoning music director, John Baril, should deliver his finest effort to date conducting from the pit for Don Giovanni.
— Weekly Peak – KCME-FM 88.7 July, 2006

Gianni Schicchi; Seven Deadly Sins

John Baril conducted a bracing and convincing Schicchi; Baril’s musicians gave Weill’s score good value.
— Opera November, 2011

Goyescas

John Baril’s …orchestra caught fire in the Granados, [and] “Goyescas” became a memorable dramma per musica, a coup de theatre. Perfect was the word for Baril’s direction of the Granados score on Tuesday.
— sfcv.org July, 2003

Goyescas

John Baril’s …orchestra caught fire in the Granados, [and] “Goyescas” became a memorable dramma per musica, a coup de theatre. Perfect was the word for Baril’s direction of the Granados score on Tuesday.
— San Francisco Post Newspapers July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril conducted with assurance.
— Opera News October, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

Central City’s orchestra has some fine first chair players but the overall standard of musicianship was less than perfect. Nevertheless, John Baril elicited energetic playing from the group.
— Opera Japonica July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril’s commedia troupe sang, acted, posed and moved with conviction…Baril and his outstanding orchestra brought a wonderfully rich tone to the two operas, particularly the rarely heard Granados. The first interlude is a lovely Spanish divertimento…
— Andante.com July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

John Baril’s commedia troupe sang, acted, posed and moved with conviction…Baril and his outstanding orchestra brought a wonderfully rich tone to the two operas, particularly the rarely heard Granados. The first interlude is a lovely Spanish divertimento…
— Rocky Mountain News July, 2003

I Pagliacci / Goyescas

And conductor John Baril extracts from the pit a sound as voluptuous as might be heard in Bayreuth.
— Boulder Daily Camera July, 2003

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Musically, John Baril managed the music and the singing and the often-wild stage happenings with a solid baton, the members of the Virginia Symphony responding energetically and providing Rossini’s score appropriate vibrancy and vitality.
— M. Shulson Virginia Gazette November, 2016

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Virginia Opera’s new production of Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” which opened Friday at the Harrison Opera House, has it all: truly gorgeous singing, John Baril’s crisp conducting, Michael Shell’s inventive direction and, not least, laughs galore. The orchestra of Virginia Symphony Orchestra players, under Baril’s baton, bring out all of Rossini’s verve, vitality and speed.
— M D Ridge The Virginian-Pilot November, 2016

Il barbiere di Siviglia

[Marc] Astafan worked with his obviously willing cast to infuse its famous characters with a real sense of zing. Together with conductor John Baril, they created a production that was zany and fun.
— Kyle MacMillan Opera News October, 2013

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Conductor John Baril wielded effective control, and the orchestra performed incisively.
— Peter Alexander Boulder Weekly July, 2013