"She's the seductive song-wielding siren with a voice
snatched for the gods!"
Balena Canto (she/her) is a seductive song-wielding siren with a voice snatched for the gods! Born on the southern coast of Italia, Balena Canto sang out to sea conjuring a passing humpback whale who took her to a distant and mysterious land called “Philadelphia.” Balena's favorite thing about her home is a local delicacy called, "water ice" (helps soothe the singer's throat). Balena’s mission in life is to bring joy, laughter, and perhaps a tear or two (she is an opera singer after all) to her audiences through song. She firmly believes in the transformative and healing power of music and the performing arts. She has already made a name for herself performing in many of the leading shows and competitions in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Balena is not only a performer, but a producer of many exciting night life shows! From May 2021 to June 2022, she co-produced and hosted Fach Off, an all live-singing drag and burlesque extravaganza with Zsa Zsa Dalí at Philly's Tabu.
Currently, Balena produces a monthly film/tv/music tribute show at Tattooed Mom! Past themes include Star Wars, Twin Peaks, Kate Bush, and Camp Horror. Her bi-monthly queer opera cabaret entitled, Opera After Dark is held at The Velvet Whip Speakeasy! She is also the co-producer/host for Jazz on Jackson, an all jazz drag and burlesque tribute with Esme Eventide at The Painted Mug Cafe.
Most recently, Balena produced, hosted, and performed in a sold-out LGBTQ-centered Oktoberfest called, Queertoberfest at Love City Brewing Co. The festival featured an opera concert, a drag & burlesque show, themed contests, and a dance party with pop-up performances! Over 300 guests were in attendance!
Just like the iconic Whitney Houston, Balena believes that, “the children are our future,” and frequently hosts Drag Queen Story Times at local libraries and other community venues teaching the next generation about diversity, self love, creativity and acceptance. If you're interested in hiring/collaborating with Balena, please see visit our contact page.
9/23 - 11/12: Come see Balena Canto uhh I mean BLOODlena Canto perform this spooky season at Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary Hear her sing chilling operatic arias and haunting melodies at the Bloodline Lounge, our swanky vampire bar! Appearance dates are listed on the flyer below. For additional info and tickets, click the above image!
Thursday, Oct 27 @ 8 pm: Balena Canto brings you her latest tribute show to Tattooed Moms! This time we're taking a trip out to CAMP WHORROR! From already ridiculously campy classics "VelociPastor" and "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" to the truly terrifying classics like "Hereditary" and "The Shining," we guarantee that our tributes will have you DYING of laughter...In addition to performances, we'll play games where you can win Tmom's swagger and a gift card! Click the above image for info and tickets!
Sunday, NOV 6 @ 9pm: Balena Canto joins the cast of Broadway Beauties celebrating all things musical theater at Liquid Alchemy Beverages in Wilington, DE!! Click the above image for tickets!
Sunday, Oct. 2nd 12-8 pm: Balena Canto and Love City present the first-ever Queertoberfest! That's right, it's your classic Bavarian celebration with beer, food, and entertainment, BUT oh so much more fabulous! For tickets and details, click above!
Friday, Sept. 30 @ 8 pm: Esme Eventide and Balena Canto team up to co-host an all Jazz tribute at The Painted Mug! This months guests are the incredible Rosey Hart and Rexxi For tickets and information, click on the above image! Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!
Tuesday, 09/13/22 from 10pm -1am: Balena joins Roxanne Rohls and Ophelia Hotass as their special guest performer at Off the Rail Karaoke at Split Rail Tavern (West Chester, PA)
Thursday, 09/01/22 8 pm: Join Balena and her cast of queens in a tribute to the iconic Kate Bush!
Saturday, August 6th @ 3 PM: Balena joins the cast of this Charity Drag Festival benefiting the Nurse Morgan Helps booth at Drag Con LA 2023. A portion of this event will be donated to The Attic Youth Center. Great drinks, local vendors, tons of local performers, and Roxxxy Andrews from Ru Paul's Drag Race!
Saturday, August 6th Seating at 11 am Show @ Noon: Join Balena Canto and her divine divas (Mandy Mango, Nickihanna, and Lamia) for a fun, festive, and DELICIOUS summer and diva themed drag brunch at Philly's South House. Tunes provided by DJ Brettzo! Click the above image for tickets and more info!
Friday, July 22nd Doors @ 8 pm Shows @ 9 pm: Opera after Dark presents a bold spectacle of fun, diverse performance in classical music. Hosted by the vivacious Balena Canto with a cast of Philly based opera singing drag, burlesque, and queer vocalists! Our venue for the evening is Philly's hottest speakeasy performance space, The Velvet Whip. For tickets, please click on the above image!
Thursday, July 14th Doors @ 7 pm Bingo @ 8 pm: Join host, Balena Canto and her cast of gorgeously fierce queens for a night of bingo, raffles, prizes, performances, and fun at Manayunk's Cresson Inn! Tickets are $10 online (click the above image) or $15 at the door.
Sunday, June 26 @ 3 pm: Balena visits St. Peters Church (3rd & Pine Phila, PA) sharing books on diversity, acceptance, creativity, and love. Click image for more info!
Saturday, June 25 @ Noon: Our favorite Drag Queen, Balena Canto, returns to the Ann Arundel Public Library (Brooklyn Park) for an in-person storytime - sharing books on diversity, acceptance, creativity, and love. Wear your dancing shoes and whatever else makes you feel beautiful for this special event celebrating Pride Month. Click the above image for more info!
June 16-18 @ 8 pm: Balena is THIRLLED to returns to It's Not Personal, It's Drag this year as a core cast member. See her all 3 nights along with a star studded cast of local drag performers hosted and produced by Meg Cutting. Complete with lip syncing legends, dancing divas, themed cocktails and electric performances. Bring $ingles to tip! Upgrade to VIP seating for the best experience! Mature content: guests must be 18+ to attend and must be 21+ to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. Click the flyer for tickets!
Wednesday, May 25 @ 10 pm: Balena Canto join's the cast of Gay Bill at Tavern on Camac for a broadway cabaret celebrating the music of Jason
05/04/22 doors @ 9:30 shows @ 10 pm Celebrate "Star Wars Day" with Balena Canto and a cast of incresible performers in a
drag and burlesque tribute to all things Star Wars! Click the image for details!
Wednesday, April 27 @ 10 pm: Balena Canto join's the cast of Gay Bill at Tavern on Camac for a Broadway cabaret of Dream Roles! Balena will be taking on the role of "Christine" from Phantom of the Opera!
3/5/2022 @ 9 pm: Join hosts Balena Canto and Zsa Zsa Dali with a cast of extra special guests for an all live singing variety show of operatic proportions!
Sunday, 2/27/22 from 4-9 pm Balena guest co-hosts Karaoke with Yari at Tabu!
Promos & Poses
Song Parodies & Sketch Comedy
First Queertoberfest brings the ‘best of both worlds’ for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community - WHYY's coverage of Philly's first ever Queertoberfest produced and hosted by Balena Canto @ Love City Brewing! The article includes an ijnterview with Balena Canto and Soprano Marcelle McGuirk
11/05/2020: Soprano and Host of Fermata Fashion, Rachel Sigman sits down with opera singer and drag performer Matthew Maisano aka Balena Canto as they discuss the intersecting worlds of opera and drag, inclusivity and growing up to be the person you were meant to be.
11/05/2020: By Vinnik releases a coluratura cape in limited edition print, "Balena"
11/6/2019: Kristen DeBoy Caminiti: Worried about our future? Go to a Drag Queen story hour Kirsten writes an opinion piece for the Capital Gazette about her experience at Balena'a DQST at the Crofton Library near Annapolis, MD.
07/2/2019: All hail the (drag) queen of story time
Coverage and praise for Anne Arundel County Public Library's DQST with Balena Canto