Acclaimed return in La Havana
News show that my grandfather went again to Cuba, alone, to perform in concerts. It was supposed to happen on April 26th and 30th 1926, in the Payret Theater in La Havana. But according to a newspaper article, after a trip of Guillermo de Cárdenas to the US: “Back in La Havana, Mr. Cárdenas has set the performance dates: the following 6th and 8th (May). The chosen place is the Teatro Nacional, following the renowned artist recommendations, who’s really excited…”. Vicent was almost a hero in La Havana. When he arrived in La Havana’s harbor, a great deal of friends and fans are waiting for him by the piers. The Spanish colony was waiting for him.
His arrival was extensively announced and we can find in the local press remarks of the sympathy he had, how he was remembered, etc. The reviews after his first performance were again excellent: admiration, affection for the singer and the person… His second concert was also very successful. In both concerts, Gonzalo Roig, the piano player and orchestra director, played along with him.
The Valencian community of La Havana offered Ballester a tribute. It was a banquet on May 16th.
The “Cine Mundial” magazine wrote about my grandfather’s stay in La Havana and about this tribute. They announced that “the next season there will be great Opera in La Havana. It will be thanks to a company formed by members of the Metropolitan Opera House, the Boston Opera Company, Philadelphia’s and Chicago's. A large set of artists lead by Vicent Ballester”. That might have been Ballester’s final project who, maybe because of his health issues (most probably), didn’t want to do that many performances. He wasn’t able to carry on this project, he passed away before its start.
La Havana, May 16th 1926 - Tribute in the Centro Valenciano