Argentinian tenor Santiago Ballerini is recognized as one of the leading tenors in the Bel Canto repertoire, having appeared at many of the major opera houses in North and South America. Earlier this season, Ballerini made his European debut as Gualtiero in Il pirata at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, after which he debuted in Bilbao as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He will soon debut as Tonio in La fille du regiment at the Atlanta Opera, return to the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri, and appear at the Teatro Nuovo’s inaugural festival at SUNY Purchase’s Performing Arts Center as Argiro in Tancredi. Ballerini began the season singing a concert of arias at the Dallas Opera.
This past season, Ballerini sang Il Tenor Italiano in Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola at the Teatro Argentino, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale at the Atlanta Opera. He also covered the roles of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In July of 2017, Ballerini returned to the Caramoor Festival in New York to sing Gualtiero in Bellini’s Il pirata opposite Angela Meade. In the 2015/16 season, he made his acclaimed United States debut at the Caramoor Festival as Fernand in La Favorite and sang the role of Tybalt in The Atlanta Opera’s production of Romeo et Juliette. After singing the role of Conte di Libenskof in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the tenor returned to the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires to sing Jünge Graf in Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten.
Highlights from previous seasons include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at the Teatro Solis in Montevideo alongside baritone Erwin Schrott, and performances at the Teatro Colon as the title role in Luigi Nono’s Prometeo and Arbace in Mozart’s Idomeneo. Ballerini also sang Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri at the Teatro Argentino; Belmonte in Die entführung aus dem Serail, Lord Perci in Anna Bolena, Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Tebaldo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi at the Teatro Avenida; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Romeo and Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette and Jaquino in Fidelio at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Libertador in Cordoba; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Colsubsidio Theatre’s re-opening in Bogota, Colombia.
In January of 2016, Ballerini was awarded the Grand Prize at the Laguna Magica International Vocal Competition in Chile, receiving invitations to sing Cassio in Otello with the Teatro Argentino and to sing with the Tenerife Opera. He was a semifinalist in the Fancisco Vinas Competition at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Argentine Finalist at the Neue Stimmen Competition in Dresden, Germany. He also won First Prize at the Festivals Musicales Competition, American Society Competition and San Juan Opera Competition. In 2014, Ballerini was named Argentina’s “Upcoming Opera Singer” by the Congress of Argentina and the Argentine Association of Critics. He was also a featured soloist for the “50th MET Anniversary Gala”, receiving a scholarship to study with Sherrill Milnes. Before starting his professional singing career, Ballerini was a pianist for nine years and studied Music Therapy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, specializing in addiction treatment.