Ancient mask that dates back to comedy in 1600, was one of "the old" and was a recurring character, together with Pantalone. He is the typical mask of Bologna and speaks in a strong Bolognese accent. He is representative of one of the most significant features of Bologna, a city known as " the learned " because of its ancient university. In fact Balanzone is the " dottorone " for excellence, who represents a comic burlesque and conceit. Joyful and robust physical appearance not to say fat, such as "fat" is his Bologna. His judgments are explained with stern tone, and it often happens that he takes advantage of his credit to complete personal interests, and he doesnt't care about anyone. Everything is back in place, however, by the jokes of his servants or by the "blows with a cudgel" by Fagiolino, another typical Bolognese mask, contemporaneous with Balanzone. He is dressed in all black - clothes , coat and beret cocked hat - with only the white collar. He wears a curious mask, black, which partially covers the face, leaving his cheeks discovered, perhaps to show the red cheeks of the hearty eater. After all he represents the city called "the fat".
Taken from: Sergio Sangiorgi, I burattini. Maschere, storia e atti unici, Editore Ponte nuovo, Bologna 1980, p. 26-27.
R. Danielli, Fagiolino c'è. Cinquant'anni di burattini bolognesi, Alberto Perdisa editore, Bologna 2004, pp. 42-43.
Promenade a Bologna - Special Christmas & New Year