It may have been Mozartean business as usual onstage, but such was hardly the case in the pit. For the first time in nearly three decades, Opera Colorado did not employ the Colorado Symphony, due largely to a financial crisis that threatened the orchestra last year. Opera Colorado and its board opted to hire a freelance ensemble – a switch that turned out to be hardly noticeable. In his podium debut, John Baril, the company’s chorus director, led a solid, well-prepared orchestra in a spirited, polished performance.
— Marc Shulgold Opera News April, 2012
John Baril and the Opera Colorado orchestra deliver an impressive rendition of the complex score.
— Bob Bows coloradodrama.com February, 2012
John Baril displays the great clarity and charm of the score. Tempos were lively, but never pushed to uncomfortable speeds, and slower arias were given their full breadth without ever becoming heavy, slow or marmoreal. Clarity between strings and woodwinds was exemplary.
— Susan Hall Berkshire Fine Arts February, 2012
Conductor John Baril capably led the orchestra with well-paced transitions that did well to keep the action moving.
— Carol Perry OPERAGASM February, 2012
The final part that matters in this work is played by the musicians and they performed it well under John Baril. But here too, balance ruled the evening. Voices and instruments connected as the performance continued. The chemistry was solid and extended throughout the hall, even into the audience.
— Denver Post February, 2012
John Baril, OC chorus master, took the baton as conductor for the first time, and led the long score with great confidence. The new OC orchestra was precise, crisp and nimble, and the thrilling trumpets at the end of “Non piu andrai” were extremely memorable.
— Kelly Dean Hansen Boulder Daily Camera February, 2012