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SHOW NOTES: Season 6, Episode 2 - Jose Maria Condemi (Director) and John Baril (Conductor) on RIGOLETTO

Central City Opera Podcast

Release Date: 07/09/2021

Jose Maria Condemi     John Baril

Jose Maria Condemi (left) and John Baril (right)

June in Central City is an incredibly busy time, the schedule jam-packed with rehearsals and this summer, commuting to and from our outdoor mainstage location at Hudson Gardens and Event Center in Littleton, Colorado. So I was thrilled to find a time sandwiched between rehearsals on June 24 to interview Rigoletto's director Jose Maria Condemi and conductor/CCO Music Director John Baril. They joined me on Zoom from their respective housing in Central City.

Jose Maria mentioned the New Orleans Opera production of Rigoletto designed by Steven Kemp, which was the intended design had we been able to produce this opera in 2020. Here is a photo of that design, and you can find more photos here.

Rigoletto Set Design by Steven Kemp for New Orleans Opera

A big reason why our 2021 production was reimagined and updated to modern times is because of the hot temperatures. Here's a graph of average temperatures in Littleton, Colorado, where Hudson Gardens and Event Center is located. Note that the hottest day of the year usually falls on July 10 - which is Opening Night for Rigoletto!


John mentioned Le Roi S'Amuse, the Victor Hugo play upon which Rigoletto is based. You can buy the English translation here


Near the end of the episode, Jose Maria commented on how opera singing (and singing in general) is considered a dangerous and high-risk activity in the context of Covid-19. Here is a link to a report from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) that digs deeper into the science of singing in Covid times. 

John has been a guest on the Central City Opera Podcast many times, and Jose Maria was a guest back in 2017 when he directed Carmen for the company. Here are the links to those episodes:

Carmen 2017     Baril in the Pit

Photos: CCO production of Carmen, 2017 (left) and John Baril conducting a rehearsal of Billy Budd in the Central City Opera House orchestra pit, 2019. Photos by Amanda Tipton Photography.

Finally, we didn't mention it in this episode, but John Baril was a presenter on CCO's virtual Lunch & Learn series this past spring. He talked about what to listen for in Rigoletto, and you can watch it on our Facebook page here.

It was great fun to interview Jose Maria Condemi and John Baril! Visit centralcityopera.org to buy tickets to the 2021 production of Rigoletto at Hudson Gardens and Event Center in Littleton, Colorado.  

-Emily Murdock, Host & Producer