Balochino [Balocchi, Balocco], Carlo
- John Rosselli
(b Vercelli, 1770; d Milan, 1850). Italian impresario . He began as a croupier, and in later life deceived Berlioz and others by saying that he had been a tailleur (‘tailor’, but less obviously ‘card-cutter’). Gambling threw him together with Domenico Barbaia, whose assistant he became in his manifold enterprises as a gambling promoter and opera impresario, first in Venice from 1807, where he managed La Fenice, then in Naples, Palermo and Milan. When Barbaia withdrew from Milan in 1828, Balochino stayed on at La Scala, working again as assistant to leading impresarios, in particular Bartolomeo Merelli. From 1835 to 1848 he was Merelli’s partner and representative in charge of the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna, besides sharing in Merelli’s operatic agency business. Balochino therefore dealt, through the heyday of early 19th-century Italian opera, with some of the most notable artists of the time. He seems, however, to have been a canny, stubborn businessman without much artistic flair; late in his career he rejected a work by his own musical director, Otto Nicolai – ...