Pietro Ballo

born 2 October 1952 Palermo

Picture of Pietro Ballo

Pietro Ballo singsRigoletto: La donna è mobile
In RA format
Ballo came from a working-class family, and was a quarryman himself before studying voice at the operatic school of Palermo's Teatro Massimo (with Gina Cigna, among others). He made his debut as Ernesto in Pavia in 1978.

Before long, in 1980, he was successful at the Glyndebourne Festival (Rodolfo), in 1981 at La Fenice in Venice (Italienischer Sänger, Fernand) and at the Châtelet in Paris, in 1982 in Genova and in Glyndebourne again (Italienischer Sänger), in 1983 at the Vienna Staatsoper (Duca) and in Florence, in 1984 at La Scala (Ernesto), at the Teatro Regio in Torino and in Zürich. He sang at the Salzburg Festival in 1985 and 1987, again at La Scala in 1986 (Elvino), in Hamburg (1984–88), at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Edinburgh Festival, in Oslo, Tokyo, Toulon, Dallas, at the Paris Grand Opéra (Duca, 1988), in Rome, Parma, Palermo, Trieste, Bergamo, Ravenna, Macerata, Liège, Santiago de Chile (Nemorino, 1996) or Monte Carlo (Roberto in Maria Stuarda, 1997).

After his singing career, he continued as a stage director.

Ballo was a great admirer of Luciano Pavarotti, and audibly so – which was quite common in his generation of Italian tenors. Early in his career, he bleated like a goat (cf. the above recording), but by the mid-1980s, his timbre had become smoother, and he delivered some very satisfying performances.

Reference 1; reference 2; reference 3: Kutsch & Riemens


Don Pasquale – Pavia, Fraschini, 1978
Madama Butterfly – Casalpusterlengo, 1978
La bohème – Glyndebourne, 1980
Manon – Fano, Corte Malatestiana, 1980
Werther – Liège, Opéra
Rigoletto – Helsinki, Opera, 1984
Ritratto di Dorian Gray (Franco Mannino) – Palermo, Politeama, 1984
La sonnambula – Milano, Scala, 1986
La favorita – Venezia, La Fenice, 1990
Rigoletto – Piacenza, Municipale, 1992
Lucia di Lammermoor – Palermo, Politeama, 1993
Esclarmonde – Palermo, Politeama, 1993
Roberto Devereux – Palermo, Massimo, 1994
L'elisir d'amore – Macerata, Arena Sferisterio, 1994
Faust – Macerata, Arena Sferisterio, 1994
La rondine – Milano, Scala, 1994
Caterina Cornaro – Bergamo, Donizetti, 1995
Maria Stuarda – Palermo, Massimo, 1995
Anna Bolena – Bilbao, 1997
Der Rosenkavalier – Palermo, Massimo, 1998

Renzo Allegri: La voce italiana, Pietro Ballo; Editoriale Gli Olmi, December 2004
www.pietroballo.it (no longer active)
This book is a picture book on the tenor and does not contain exact dates. I am also not sure if all his roles are listed.
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording.

Go Home