Maestro John Baril and the festival orchestra deliver an exquisite rendition of Verdi's fabulous melodies.
CCO Music Director John Baril, always superb in the pit, again leads a polished, professional orchestra through a sensitive reading of the score. Baril knows what the singers need and consistently provides it.
Conductor and CCO Music Director John Baril has mastered the way the orchestra and singers can mix in the cozy place.
Seldom in this reviewer's experience has Verdi's triumvirate of characters received such a balanced embodiment by actors who can act as well as they sing. Harnessing the magic and mystery of Verdi's composition, esteemed conductor John Baril keeps the voices on stage and the scrumptious Central City Opera Orchestra in the pit in an alignment that's superbly balanced.
Music Director John Baril and Central City's fine pit orchestra vividly realized Heggie's sweeping, richly orchestrated score, tinged at times with evocative spirituals and popular music.
John Baril conducted with a sure hand, expertly drawing out the colour and constantly shifting dynamics of Heggie’s score.
Heggie’s score speaks volumes on its own, employing strains of Gershwin-reminiscent jazz and blues, or angular lines punctuating speech-like declamation. It was all expertly delivered with effective momentum under the baton of John Baril. Each act culminated in a multi-layered wall of sound (made more palpable in the intimate Central City Opera House) which was enough to rock every cell of my being.
Much of the musical interest is in the orchestra, which moves along underlining dramatic sections and offering snatches of jazz rhythm and perhaps zydeco, which itself is an integration of blues, jazz, waltz and other forms. John Baril conducted an obviouly committed orchestra with an intensity that drove the story on.
No one was able to sit comfortably back in their seat, avoiding the searing energy of this opening night performance. It started with the John Baril-lead orchestra. Heggie composed an ever-present instrumental fabric, kind of a sonic canvas, to place his drama upon. He used traditional and modern harmonic language to match the drama as it unfolded - all accomplished without any sense of contrivance. The orchestra accepted its role with attentiveness and intensity.
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.