U.S. Independence Day Concert, ExpoVida 2015 and other happenings around Costa Rica

June 26, 2015

Music: Fourth of July-themed Symphonic Concert

To celebrate the Fourth of July, the University of Costa Rica’s Symphonic Orchestra will feature exclusively U.S. works, from the “Three Marches” of John Phillip Sousa, to Ferde Grofé’s “Mississippi Suite,” to George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue. At the helm will be guest conductor Norman Gamboa, a Costa Rican who lives in the States and leads orchestras in Colorado, Wyoming and California, and guest soloists will include soprano Ivalah Allen and pianist Manuel Matarrita.

“American Excursion” will be performed July 2 at the National Theater, downtown San José. ₡5,000 (approximately $10, with a $4 rate for senior citizens). More info: National Theater Website

ExpoVida 2015

The second edition of health fair Expo Vida focuses on education for a better quality of life. Activities will include Crossfit, Infit, Tai Chi, Yoga Under the Stars, Yoga Kids, Prenatal Yoga, and Zumba, plus lectures on subjects such as “Food and conscious life,” “Get rid of Cancer the Natural Way,” “3d Innovation in Plastic Surgery,” and “Ayurvedic Medicine.”

ExpoVida 2015 will take place June 26 from 10 a.m.-8p.m. and June 27 – 28 from 9 a.m.-8p.m. at la Antigua Aduana, downtonw San José. Free. More info:ExpoVida Website 

Dance: “Instants”

The National Dance Studio, an organization that promotes scenic contemporary dance, will present its first 2015 show, the culmination of students’ work during the first semester of the year. A whopping 230 students will present 12 different choreographies, ranging from  jazz, popular and contemporary dance to flamenco.

“Instantes” takes place June 27 at Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. Kids’ groups perform at 4 p.m. and adult groups at 8 p.m.  ₡2,000 – 4,000 ($4 – 8). More info: Melico Salazar Theater Website

Music: Opera Gala

The National Lyric Company celebrates its 35th Anniversary with an Opera Gala where 130 artists will perform extracts of famous operas, including La italiana en Argelia (Rossini), Rigoletto and Nabucco (Verdi), Carmen (Bizet), Madame Butterfly (Puccini) and Lucía of Lammermoor (Donizetti), among others.

Gala Lírica takes place June 27 at the National Theater, downtown San José. 7 p.m. ₡2,500 – 5,000 ($5 – 10). More info: National Theater Website.

Music: Symphonic Double Feature

The National Symphonic Orchestra will end its season with a bang by offering a double concert at the National Theater. Under the direction of Music Director Carl St. Clair, the orchestra will perform Costa Rican work “Mestizo II” for orchestra (Cardona), Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 (Rachmaninoff) and the Seventh Symphony in A Major, Op. 92 (Beethoven). Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang will perform as a guest soloist in his Costa Rican debut.

Symphic Orchestra takes place June 26 at 8 p.m. and June 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the National Theater, downtown San José. ₡4,000 – 16,000 ($8 – 32). More info: National Theater Website

Theater: “Heroes 1856”

Costa Rica’s first-ever original rock opera will retell one of the most exciting moments in the country’s history: the 1856 National Campaign as seen through the eyes of President Juan Mora,  U.S. filibuster William Walker and other major figures from the period. Check out our preview.

“Heroes 1856” performs June 26 at 8 p.m., June 27 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., June 28 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the National Auditorium, Children’s Museum, downtown San José. ₡12,000 — 18,000 ($24 — 36). More info: National Auditorium Facebook page.

History and Culture: Francisca Carrasco Cultural Conference

Costa Rica is full of brave and hardworking women who day after day give their best to keep on going, just as the national heroine Francisca Carrasco did. This fifth edition of the Francisca Carrasco Cultural Conference celebrates women entrepreneurs, who will present and exhibit their micro-businesses;  71-year-old actress Lilliam Blandino will also be honored. Other activities will include a performance of the play “Pancha Carrasco” and “La Bruta Espera,” storytelling, free handmade jewelry workshops, and other lectures.

“V Jornada Cultural Francisca Carrasco” takes place June 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Juan Santamaria Museum, Alajuela. Free. More info: Museum Facebook page

Music: Inaugural Concert of the “Humanities Orchestra”

The University of Costa Rica has created a new outlet for members of the UCR community who have had to sideline their musical passions: The new “Humanities Orchestra” offers a spot to students from all majors, not just music majors, and will present its inaugural concert on Monday – alongside the group ElectrizArte, made up of – you guessed it (maybe) – electrical engineering students.

“Concierto Inaugural Orquesta Humanidades” takes place June 29 at Eugene O’Neill Theater, San Pedro. Free. More info: Concert Facebook page

And a playlist to gear you up for the weekend: This week, fans of the “King of Pop” marked the sixth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Take a look at 10 of the musical phenomenon’s greatest hits.

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