Conductor John Baril holds everything in the production together with a master’s hand.
In the pit, John Baril conducts Adamo’s busy score with a sure hand and keen sense of balance.
…Best Ensemble of 1999
Conductor John Baril…kept a tight rein on the fascinating score, and his musicians reveled in the variety of color, rhythm and texture demanded of them.
There is a feeling that when the orchestra gets there and the conductor is there that the show is out of [the director’s] control. The tempi don’t change with Baril as conductor…[you] don’t have to worry about a tired conductor that causes the whole thing to slow down.
Conductor John Baril obviously has taken into account Weill’s classical and pop sides, give space to the former and pizzazz to the latter. If you see only one production in Central this summer, this is the one!
It takes a stage director with the mind and heart of Michael Ehrman and a conductor with the intelligence and insight of John Baril to bring this off.
Kudos also to John Baril and solid pit orchestra, …giving the jazzy-bluesy Broadway sound of Weill an energetic interpretation.
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s production of The Ballad of Baby Doe, directed by Michael Ehrman and conducted by John Baril…is one of [Pittsburgh’s] ten best classical music performances of 1998.
If all operatic performances of merit begin with the conductor—even “Trovatore,” the ultimate singers’ opera—then John Baril was the right choice to lead this excellent production. …Baril provided the eloquence and shrewd pacing from which the entire production took its vivid, dark persona.