Once upon a time, there was as Spanish fans painter from Valencia who became one of the most famous lyric voices worldwide.
The baritone from Valencia who conquered America (1887-1927)
Welcome to the website of Vicent Ballester, the baritone from Valencia who started as a painter of Spanish fans and became one of the most important and famous lyric voices in the early 20th century. Because he died so young and because the baritone role isn’t the main one in opera shows, he was unfairly forgotten.
My grandfather was a star. A shooting start (he died when he was 40) and now, almost forgotten. But he was a successful singer, singing with the best and most important singers from the early 20th century. He sang in the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires or the Metropolitan Opera House, in New York, among other places.
I knew nothing about his fame and importance until 1988, when I visited New York. Before leaving home, my father (who didn’t speak at all about his father but to say he was an opera singer) asked me to visit the Metropolitan Opera house and see what I could find about him. I went just to make him happy, I didn’t expect anything from that visit. But, that visit to the opera mecca was a great surprise for me, I came back home even with copies of his contracts! And everything started back then. I’ve been doing research about him since then. My father isn’t with us anymore, but I want to honor his memory and his father’s by bringing light to the later life. He was one of the greatest and only his sudden death at an early age made the world forget him.
Barcelona, September 1915
Vicent Ballester dressed up ready to play his role in En Sevilla está el Amor.