Bio

"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 with many exciting night life shows These include a monthly film/tv/music tribute show (Star Wars, Twin Peaks, Kate Bush, Camp Horror to name a few) at Tattooed Moms, as well as  a bi-monthly queer opera cabaret entitled, Opera After Dark 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.  

Just like the iconic Whitney Houston, Balena believes that, “the children are our future,” and frequently hosts Drag Queen Story Times at many of the area's libraries 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. 

Current  Events

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! 

Past  Events

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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! 

Thursday, August 11th Runway @ 8 pm Shows @ 9 pm: Join Philly drag legend, Lamia the Cursed Queen and her cast of hellish ghouls at Tattooed Mom for a gothic horror themed drag extravaganza! 

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, July 3rd Doors @ 8 Shows pm @ 9 pm: Balena joins the cast of Philly's Iconic drag show, Sinful Sunday's hosted by the legendary, Goddess Isis. Click above for more info and tickets! 

Thursday, June 30 @ 8 pm: Join host, Balena Canto and her cast of drag artists in a Tribute to the cult TV classic, Twin Peaks! 

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!

Join Balena Canto and her cast of queens for at Media's State Street Pub for a Sunday funday! Eat delicious brunch, be entertained, and play FREE bingo where you can win amazing prizes! 

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!

Saturday, June 11 @ 3 pm: Balena performs at  Upper Darby Pride's Drag Show Extravaganza! The festival starts at 1 pm and our show begins at 3pm at the lot right outside of Upper Darby High School's gym! Click the flyer for more info!

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Saturday, June 11 @ 12:30 pm: Balena visits the Narberth Park Narberth's 1st annual Pride Festival! Join Balena in the Girl Scout Room for ongoing crafts and drag queen story time! Click the above image for further information! 

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Friday, June 10 @ 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 Mo Betta and Quinn Possible! For tickets and information, click on the above image! Space is limited, so reserve your spot now! 

06/04/22 @ 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! Click the flyer for tix!

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Friday June 3rd @ Noon: Balena Canto returns to the Penn Wynne Library for Drag Queen Story Time! Click the above image for details! 

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
Robert Brown!

Charlene DeLizzio (AMP's mom) and the rest of the DiSabatino clan are celebrating AMP's Bday at Rivers Casino! Click photo for details and tickets! 

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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!

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04/23/22 @ 7 pm Special Guest, Balena Canto joins Narberth Community theater for Drag Queen Designer Bag Bingo! Come out to play and win lots of prizes and be entertained by the seductive song-wielding siren herself! Click image for details and tickets! 

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!

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Sunday, 3/13/22 from @ 8:30 pm  

Balena joins a stunning cast of burlesque artists in a dreamy and surreal sing-n-strip show at Franky Bradley's

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Tuesday, 3/8/22 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)  

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!

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Sunday, 2/27/22 from 4-9 pm Balena guest co-hosts Karaoke with Yari at Tabu!

Devil Drag

Balena joins the cast of Devil Drag this month on Friday, 2/25
doors @ 9 pm show @ 10 pm at Philly's Tabu!

 

Photo

Promos & Poses

Performance Stills

Artistic Renderings

 
 

Video

Live Singing

Song Parodies &  Sketch Comedy

Digital Drag

 

News

Matthew sits down with Voyage Baltimore Magazine to discuss their life and career as a classical singer and a drag artist! Click the above image to read their exciting interview! 

12/27/2021: A clip from my interview with The Empowered Musician where I talk about being able to fulfill my queer opera dreams this past summer as Melissa in Alter Ego Chamber Opera's unique and stunning production of Alcina REVAMPED! Thank you so much for the feature!

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.

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11/05/2020: By Vinnik releases a coluratura cape in limited edition print, "Balena"

09/22/2019: Balena Canto interviewed by Now This after protesters demonstrated outside of her drag queen story time for children at a local library.

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

06/16/2019: Hundreds Turn Out for Drag Queen Storytime in Haverford Delaware County Times Article about the incredible turn out and support from the community for Balena Canto's Drag Queen Story Time in Havertown, PA. 

06/11/2019: Drag Queen: Performance is a Lesson in Diversity Delaware County Times Article with Balena Canto explaining the importance of Drag Queen Story Time, and why the show must go on despite opposition. 

 

Contact

Email: balenacanto@gmail.com

Phone: (610) 513-0880

 

Join Balena's Mailing List for Event Updates!