As far as I know, using ellipsis in the second part of the sentence is very common. However, using it in the first part of the sentence looks unusual, at least to me. Is it grammatically correct to use ellipsis in the first part of the following sentence? "His first was a failure, but this second book is a total success."
There is no rule that states ellipsis has to come at any point in a sentence, or that a parallel structure must be involved.
Looking good, John! Getting more exercise?
Here we've elided a few words:
[You are] looking good, John! [Have you been] getting more exercise?
For your own example, I think it's not only fine and valid, it's also better because it's fresher and not necessarily expected and therefore not boring. What you're doing is holding off until the second clause to let the reader (or listener) know the real subject of the sentence. That piques curiosity because the subject can't be dismissed until it's at least brought up, and it isn't brought up until later, by which time there has been a slight but real anticipatory build-up.
Indeed, manipulating tension is a key element of style.