Summer in the Colón Theater, Buenos Aires
During July 1921 Vicent arrived in Argentina. He was hired by the Gran Compañía Lírica Italiana owned by the great master Giorgio Polacco and performed during July and August in the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires. He shared the stage with his fellow María Barrientos and Giovanni Martinelli, among others stars.
Wining the reviews and the audience in Chicago and San Francisco
By the end of the year, he moved back to the US hired by the Chicago Opera Association of Mary Garden. He performed in Chicago and New York from December 29th 1921 until February 11th 1922. During this season he shared the stage with very important stars: Amelita Galli-Curci, Tito Schipa or his fellow Graziella Pareto. The newspapers reviews discovered him and, again, they praised his art and personality. He received the same kind of reviews in New York, but somehow he wasn’t an unknown artist there.
After his last performance with Mary Garden’s company, there are no more news about him until June 1922. Maybe during this break he made the trip back to Spain his sons remembered. The younger one Francisco only remembered this trip. But his older one Vicente (my father) remembered two more trips. However, I’m pretty sure this was his last trip and that he tried to take his family along with him to America. Unfortunately it was not successful and it may have produced the break up.
During the first part of June 1922 he was hired by the San Francisco Opera Company to perform in the Stanford Stadium University in Palo Alto (San Francisco, CA). According to some information, this “Opera Festival” was “an essay of a plan plotted by the opera director Gaetano Merola and Frank Carroll Griffen to establish an opera headquarters in San Francisco with permanent operas and chorus. So stars from other cities could be hired and would find company, music and stages ready for them”. Because of his stay in this festival, Vicent performed in a very important radio station singing several arias and being the cover of the “San Francisco Call & Post” newspaper.
When he was done with Palo Alto, Vicent moved back, from the end of June until beginning of September, to the Chicago Opera Association performing open air opera nights in the Ravinia Park, near Chicago. He performed in more than 30 shows sharing the stage again with his fellow Graziella Pareto. The reviews from different sources were again very positive for Ballester.
Buenos Aires (1921)
Vicent Ballester top row in the center, with the company from the Colón Theater
Chicago, January 1921,
Vicent Ballester dressed up ready to play El Barbero de Sevilla