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A national festival, a grand old opera and other happenings around Costa Rica

Annexation of the Partido de Nicoya Festival

Courtesy Servicios Periodisticos Globales
Courtesy Servicios Periodisticos Globales

In 1824, Guanacaste became a part of Costa Rica. Today, this vast province is famous for its hospitality, its cowboy culture, and its laid-back Pacific beaches – and after 190 years of celebrating their annexation, these guys sure know how to party. Join the fun during various festivities across the country.

Events take place July 25 across Costa Rica. Special events include a horse parade in downtown Liberia at 1 p.m., a dance performance at the Museum of Costa Rican in San José at 11 a.m., a folkloric music performance at the National Museum in San José from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and a daylong celebration in the town of Nicoya (central park) that will include the presentation of this year’s “Gran Nicoya” award to Guanacaste author Carlos Araúz Ramos. Read more about the festival here.

Taste of Guanacaste

This food festival doubles as a music and dance showcase, featuring artists from across Guanacaste. Like the other Annexation events, Taste of Guanacaste celebrates the province’s unification with Costa Rica.

Sabor de Guanacaste takes place June 25 in Playa Flamingo. 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Free. Info: Event website.

Opera: “Nabucco”

“Nabucco” is 173 years old, it’s four acts long, and it features 130 musicians and singers. The National Lyric Company presents this spectacularly epic opera by Giuseppe Verdi, which brings the biblical story of Nebuchadnezzar to life.

“Nabucco” can be seen July 31 – Aug. 10 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Thu. & Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 2,000-30,000 ($4-60). Info: National Theater website.

Music: Bond

Famed around the world as the best-selling string quartet of all time, the electro-pop violinists of Bond descend on San José to perform their high-energy arrangements.

Bond plays July 30 at the Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. 8 p.m. 17,000-62,000 ($34-124). Info: Theater website.

Art: “Viral”

Memes are always fun, but ArtFlow presents them as works of pop art. Catch this playful (not to mention political) exhibit at Avenida Escazú.

“Viral” takes place at ArtFlow Gallery, Avenida Escazú. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sat., 1-9 p.m.; Sun., 2-6 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery Facebook page.

Theater: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

The children of Putnam County compete for best speller in this critically acclaimed Broadway musical by William Finn. Catch the Spanish-language version, produced by The Far Corners Community Musical Theater group.

“El 25to Concurso Annual de Deletreo Local” can be seen July 31 – Aug. 2 at the Escuela de los Amigos and the Central Commercial Plaza, Monteverde. Children, 1,000 ($2); Adults, 2,000 ($4). Info: RedCultura.

Film: “The Sacrifice”

Can a regular academic stop a nuclear holocaust? What if bargains with God Himself? Find out in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1986 Soviet drama.

“El Sacrificio” screens July 26 & 27 at Joaquín García Monge Museum, Desemparados. Sat. & Sun., 6:30 p.m. 2,000 ($4). Info: GAM Cultural website.

Courtesy Cuarteto Hispano
Courtesy Cuarteto Hispano

Music: Hispanic Quartet

This classical string quartet plays a midday performance at the National Theater.

Cuarteto Hispano plays July 29 at the National Theater, downtown San José. 12:10 p.m. Free. Info: National Theater website.

Dance: National Choreography Competition

Dance schools and their best students from across the country compete for best choreography.

“Campeonato Nacional Coreografias” takes place July 26 & 27 at the Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. Sat. & Sun., 4-6 p.m. 3,000-4,500 ($6-9). Info: GAM Cultural.

European Film Festival

Cine Magaly screens a diverse hodgepodge of European films. Read our preview here.

Film festival plays from July 16-31 at Cine Magaly, Barrio Escalante. 2,000 ($4) or 1,500 ($3) for students. Info: Cine Magaly Facebook page.

“Mundosaurio” Dinosaur Exhibit

The Children’s Museum presents its newest permanent exhibit, “Mundosaur,” which will appeal to every amateur paleontologist, from toddlers on up.

“Mundosaurio” takes place at the Children’s Museum, downtown San José. Tue.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Children 1,300 ($2.80), general 1,500 ($3). Info: Museum website.

Art: “Mid-Hemisphere: Scenes from Costa Rica”

Lush oil paintings by Donald Voelker illustrate the landscape and people of rural Costa Rica.

Exhibit continues through July 26 at the José Figueres Ferrer Center of Culture and History, San Ramón. Free. Info: Center Facebook page.

Art: “Prelibri”

Abigail Reyes takes her inspiration from books, but her multimedia work is filled with clever twists.

“Prelibri” continues through Aug. 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents 1,000 ($2), foreigners 1,500 ($3), students 500 ($1). Info: MADC website.

Art: “We Are Not Foreigners”

Presented by the organization Chietón Morén, this photographic series documents the indigenous people of Costa Rica.

“Nosotros No Somos Extranjeros” continues through July 31 at the National Archives, Curridabat. Open daily 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: National Archives website.

Theater: “Virus”

What is the nature of sickness? Costa Rican playwright Ana Istarú explores this theme in “Virus,” her new drama at the Vargas Calvo Theater. Read our review here.

“Virus” plays through Aug. 31 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 5,500 ($11). Info: National Theater website.

Theater: “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All to You”

Christopher Durang’s famous satire about Catholic education receives a Spanish production at Teatro Espressivo.

“Sor María Ignacio lo Explica Todo Para Usted” plays through July 27 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. 5,000-10,000 ($10-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Art: “Documentos en Línea”

Artist Guillermo Fournier exhibits his series of sketches at the National Theater.

“Documentos en Línea” takes place at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website.

Art: “Dirty Game”

Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.

“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.

Exhibit: “Cathedrals of Soccer”

This photographic exhibit illustrates the beauty of the soccer field – not the game itself, but the stadiums where games take place.

“Catedrales del Fútbol” continues through Aug. 1 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. Mon.-Thu., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Free. Info: Centro Cultural de España website.

Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.

“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents 1,000 ($2), foreigners 1,500 ($3), students 500 ($1). Info: MADC website.

Enamorate de tu ciudad

Yes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.

Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website and Facebook page.

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