“The cast has the difficult task of facing an opera free of any performing tradition. The best on the field, and the most acclaimed, was Elisa Balbo; the young soprano faces with elegant suppleness and scenic ease an arduous role characterised by picchiettatos, sniggers and lirico-leggero coloraturas. - Sergio Albertini Mancuso for L’Ape Musicale
"Elisa Balbo, the Countess, shoots high notes and coloraturas, the ones and the others perfectly sure, as she was training for the Olympics" - Alberto Mattioli for La Stampa
"Faultless, instead, in the respective cameos, Elisa Balbo the jealous and garruolous Countess of Boissy … ." - Il Sole24ORE
"In the second act the lianas disappear, replaced by the elegant garden of the Countess of Boissy (Elisa Balbo, soprano, to whom the audience will tribute and extraordinary ovation for what turns out to be the best performance in the entire pièce)” - Fabrizio Contini for Worldsardinia
"Elisa Balbo is brilliant, ironic and lofty, as the score dictates, also in the coloratura” - Cesare Galla per Le Salon Musical
"Elisa Balso was one of the happiest notes of the night, handling with confidence the role of the Countess of Boissy (arduous because very highly pitched and concentrated in the second act)” - Carlo Dore for Operaclick
“Elisa gives a startling performance, her Desdemona is quivering and expressive while alive, absolutely credible at the point of death: consummate and docile actress with thrilling pianissimos and a lyric soprano voice enriched by thousands of variegations." - Alberto Spano
“The ethereal Desdemona interpreted by Elisa Balbo, is credibly young in her beauty. She conveys a great humanity enriched by nuanced vibrations, creating a character of great emotional impact. The Willow Song is one of the most touching moments.” - Claudia Mambelli, “L’opera” - dicembre 2018
"In the first part of the epilogue of the opera, all eyes are on Desdemona. Elisa Balbo is extraordinary: a diaphanous vision who bewitches the audience with her Willow song and especially with the magnificent Ave Maria. In her final chant (the word "aria" here seems simplistic) the marriage between soloist and orchestra is admirable" - Luca Fialdini
“Soprano Elisa Balbo is a “mystic” and accomplished Desdemona, her husband’s unsuspecting sacrificial lamb (“aren’t you a vile courtesan ?”), dumped into an unintelligible abyss (“terrified I stare in your tremendous gaze, a Fury speaks through you, I hear it but I can’t understand it”) still stoic in her womanly role, faithful to her husband and God, dulcet in her voice, deliciously fragile and blond against Otello’s massive figure.” - Attila Tarragona
“Elisa Balbo’s Desdemona is characterised by a remarkable vocal elegance... she certainly plays her best game in the fourth act. The Willow song is sung with thousands of different nuances, colours and emotions and the Ave Maria really becomes a prayer in which sorrow, fear and love arise at full strength.” - Simone Tomei
“...Elisa Balbo, as Desdemona, showed a golden timbre with formidable legato.” - Augustín Bianco Bazan
“…Elisa Balbo gave body and voice to a Desdemona of accurate dramatic equilibrium” - Alessandro Rigolli
“Wisely chosen was Otello’s better half. Not an innocent soprano with muffled precarious celestial high notes, but a young thin woman, whose voice certainly conveys dramatic variegations. Abraded on her husband’s hard shell, Balbo’s Desdemona has no power. She fights for him and for her strong feelings for this black outsider of the white Venetian society. She eventually pays with their lives this impossible love. - Peter Krause
“Elisa Balbo is very convincing as Desdemona. The character is well portrayed in her balance between the fragilities of her sentimental abandonment and her proud surges. About her, we appreciate the refined phrasing and the musicality with which she handles her lyric soprano of fair timbre and good voice projection that allows her voice to be heard over the see-deep orchestral fortes in the third act” - Fabrizio Moschini
“Elisa Balbo is very young – good for her- therefore conveying perfectly Desdemona’s angelic essence; she sings with proper style, good colour refinement and, above all, exquisite lyric abandon.” - Gilberto Mion
Soprano Elisa Balbo … proved perfectly at ease, in vocal ductility terms, also in a Lieder repertoire, made arduous by the hard inflections of the German language.
Among the brilliantly interpreted lieder by Balbo, the most fascinating ones have been "Oh! Quand je dors" (in French) e "Die Loreley" (verses by Heine) by Franz Liszt and "Der Hirt auf clem Felsen", a posthumous piece by Franz Schubert, surprising in its intensity and change of pace among contradictory states of minds…
Enthusiastic applauses for all musicians and in particular for Elisa Balbo, true vocal talent of great extension, controlled and secure emission, in apparent contradiction with her slender and deceptively fragile figure.
Elisa Balbo, the Anna Erisso in Maometto II who charmed last year’s audience in Bad Wildbad, doesn’t leave anything to be desired as Anaï thanks to her shining soprano and stupendous dramatic eruptions in the high notes.
Elisa Balbo clearly portrays the tragic tumult of Anaï’s love with her bright soprano, confident high notes and convincing dramatic ease. She contributes to the performance with her great scene in the 4th act and in the touching duet with Aménophis with moving accents.
Among the numerous Egyptian-Israeli personnel, the lovers Anai-Amenophis are by far the most interesting and touching factor… In particular, the games of this couple, breathtakingly sung by Randall Bills and Elisa Balbo, show how the artificial skill of Rossini's voices are not only in the service of comic equilibria, but can also be very convincing as an expression of extreme "serious" feelings.
As Anais, Moises’s daughter, Elisa Balbo transformed the sharp traits of her soprano into vocal fireworks.
"Elisa Balbo, also torn between the political opponents and the compelling power of love, won quickly the hearts of the audience with her elegant soprano voice, moving pianos and weighty legato."
CD RECORDING FOR NAXOS CLASSICAL
“Astonishing is Elisa Balbo in the role of Anna Erissio. The very young singer has already acquired an admirable technical and performing maturity. Her dark and velvety voice is ideal for this repertoire. Her very wide vocal range allows her to face a tremendously hard tessitura and her coloratura is precise and her elocution is clear and authoritative. ... she faces the authentic ordeal of the final scene with such a self-confidence that is hardly believable for such a young girl." - Giordano Cavagnino
CD RECORDING FOR NAXOS CLASSICAL
“It is at its best in the opera’s dying fall of an end, where the heroine Anna Erisso prepares to take her own life in the catacombs of the besieged citadel. This is beautifully handled by Elisa Balbo." - Richard Osborne
“Elisa Balbo designed the role of Anna with dramatic heights and a volume that one hardly expects from this petite person. With her impeccable soprano on the one hand, she works hard to bring out the suffering of the young woman and, with great charisma and exorbitant coloratura, proves to be a heroic martyr who dies without fear. She succeeds the big scene in the end, when she confidently meets the muslims. In her cavatina at the beginning of the opera, on the other hand, she looks like a vulnerable child.”
"In the main role of Anna, Elisa Balbo introduced herself for the first time to the public in Bad Wildbad and impressed with her slender figure, her sensibility as an interpreter, as well as her technical soprano skills. In the course of the performance, the initial echoes of sharpness disappeared, the smooth twines of the bel canto style and dramatic escalation corresponded exactly to what the role demanded."
"The grandiose part of Anna was sung in 1820 by the legendary Rossini prima donna Isabella Colbran. In Wildbad, the young Italian soprano Elisa Balbo brilliantly fulfilled the extraordinary requirements of the role in acting and, above all, singing."
"The soprano Elisa Balbo was initially a rather cold Anna, but throughout the performance, the voice warmed up pleasantly. She also did not spare herself, and despite the heavy role, her voice did not show the slightest signs of fatigue. On the contrary, she flourished into the magistral figure she had to portray."
“Elisa Balbo (Anna), in the dominant and extraordinary soprano role, after the less relaxed start at the beginning of the evening, gradually consolidated and demonstrated a proficient coloring technique.”
“Anna Erisso was the young Elisa Balbo: interesting stage presence, some fragility in the vocal emission, she faces a very difficult role and the long tragic scene of the Neapolitan finale showing to be mature vocalist material.”
"The young Elisa Balbo is great in Anna, ideally thin and above all actress, but already very confident in her singing."
“Elisa Balbo, on the other hand, was unknown to us. Endowed with the slenderness advocated by fashion magazines, she offers the image of a fragility ready to bend under the storms that threaten it, war-like or sentimental. The voice, very extended, with a solid centre and bass registers, appears to us a little strident in the superaigus ... Flexibility and agility are real and remarkable, but should be refined ... With her available material and her determination, which seems clear, this newcomer to the Rossini world should make her place.”
“More convincing is the Liu sang by the young Elisa Balbo, who debuted the role. She gave her character the wide palette of colors needed, representing a convincing dialectic opposition to Turandot.”
“The power of Rebeka Lokar's Turandot amazed everyone, as well as the debut in the role of the young Elisa Balbo, a sweet and passionate Liù.”
“Very well the young Elisa Balbo, a passionate Liu with a clear and secure sound, who immediately conquered the audience.”
“In fact, Balbo presents a light, clear voice enlivened by an interesting dynamic flow that leads her to always phrase with conviction and excellent expression: in Tu, che di gel sei cinta, she finds and delivers a moving interpretation.”
“So the criticism that could be moved to Elisa Balbo and her "alleged youth" with respect to the role, doesn’t hold before a really convincing performance. The voice of pure lyric soprano is very beautiful, bright in the upper register and filled with velvety pianissimos, that shone in the Vilja Lied, which was really well sung. As an actress she is all but inert, and she moves with great elegance in the sumptuous dresses by Orlandi (very different from the "rags" to which singers are accustomed in 2017). Anna Glawary is a young woman who perfectly knows how the world works, but at the same time she has her fragilities (“Il cavalier ch’io voglio è un tal che finger sa così come se io non fossi qui!… “) and Balbo is perfectly able to perfectly communicate all this.”
"Elisa Balbo wore the shimmering dresses of Hanna Glawari. The characteristics of her voice, soft and sweet and at the same time full-bodied and firm, corresponded to the volatile character of the young and beautiful widow who, with skilful feminine arts, eventually receives the proof of his long-time lover’s, Count Danilo, sincere and disinterested feelings."
“L’interpretazione solistica del soprano ligure Elisa Balbo si è contraddistinta per un fraseggio aderente alle intenzioni della compagine orchestrale, fortemente coesa nella ricerca della tinta straussiana, mostrando un’ottima capacità di produrre emozioni con autenticità e genuinità. Un’esecuzione in crescita costante dopo l’inizio, con il secondo e terzo lieder evocati con tanto pudore, come un sussurro a fior di labbra e caratterizzati da un lirismo e un fraseggio intessuto di venature poetiche, da lacrime agli occhi. Alla fine del quarto una lunga ovazione e tanto entusiasmo per un artista di cui la carriera appare già nel segno del firmamento canoro”READ MORE
“L’artista ligure (…) si è spostata ora su pagine in cui la voce si fonde con l’orchestra, per diventarne uno strumento al pari degli altri. L’interpretazione del soprano si è fatta apprezzare per una raffinatezza esecutiva ricca di colori, sfumature, filati e slanci.”READ MORE
“Bocelli is backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and a series of hand-picked guests from the classical musical world: Soprano Elisa Balbo is outstanding in O mio babbino caro and Casta Diva and in the encore duet with Bocelli, Con Te Partiro..”READ MORE
“soprano Elisa Balbo excelled in a solo performance of O mio babbino caro, and her encore duet with Bocelli (the apt Con Te Partiro) was goose-bump-inducin..”READ MORE
“…ben costruita ed armoniosa è l’attesissima “Si, mi chiamano Mimì”, nel primo quadro, di Mimì (Elisa Balbo).” “…commovente e vero il finale di Mimì con “Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire” che conduce al tragico epilogo finale.”READ MORE
“Elisa Balbo, la giovane soprano che esprime perfettamente la figura dolce e malata di Mimi una creatura che “ha premura di vivere perché ha paura di morire”.”READ MORE
“…”Casta diva” (Norma di Bellini), interpretata da Shizuka Arakawa e cantata egregiamente da Elisa Balbo della Fondazione Pavarotti, sono state tra quelle più applaudite anche dal pubblico meno avezzo alla musica lirica…”READ MORE
“…assai brillanti e con intensa verve espressiva Elisa Balbo (Alice), Anna Malavasi (Meg), Isabel De Paoli (Quickly) e Damiana Mizzi (Nannetta), interpreti molto ben scelte per i loro rispettivi ruoli.”READ MORE
“Bravissime le comari Elisa Balbo in Mrs. Alice Ford, Mrs. Quickly Isabel De Paoli, Mrs. Meg Page Anna Malavasi.”READ MORE
“And the beautiful voice of soprano Elisa Balbo adds even more magic to Shizuka’s skating: the music draws a lot of applause from the audience, as much as the happenings on the ice.””READ MORE