Ballerini [Ballarini, Balerini, Ballarino, Baron Ballerini], Francesco
- Paola Besutti
(b Florence; fl 1680–1717). Italian contralto castrato . The earliest reference to him is in 1680, when he sang in Le pompose feste di Vicenza (composer unknown) in Vicenza and the role of Tazio in P. S. Agostini’s Il ratto delle Sabine in Venice. In 1682 he took the leading role in Legrenzi’s Ottaviano Cesare Augusto at Mantua, and from that year until at least 1693 he styled himself ‘musician to Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua’. From 1684 he sang in many Italian cities. In 1700 he appeared in Ariosti’s Lucio Vero in Florence (Pratolino) and in his La festa d’Imeneo in Berlin. From 1708 he was in Vienna in the service of the Emperor Joseph I, and he took part in the production of C. A. Badia’s Gli amori di Circe con Ulisse (1709) and the intermezzo Vespetta e Milo (1717; by A. Scarlatti and F. Conti) in Dresden. Tosi mentioned him (as Baron Ballerini) for his qualities as an actor, and in particular for his masterly execution of dramatic recitative....