Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Opera Pampa


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Every country has its history, with its fair share of drama, but Argentina’s has always proven to be more tumultuous than most. Filled with battle, victories, losses and growth, it is fascinating to know what this country has been through, and why it is the way it is today.

Perhaps one of the best ways to understand this history is to see it live. How can that be? Enter Opera Pampa, a show that recreates the history of Argentina, from the very first discovering of the country to its independence and all the way through the 20th century.

To understand Opera Pampa, and where it comes from, it’s important to take a look at La Sociedad Rural Argentina, or The Argentine Rural Society. The society was founded in 1866 with aims to promote agriculture in Argentina. Many landowners were members of this society from the very beginning, and their organization and promotion helped Argentina become a force to be reckoned with on the international economic scene back at the turn of the 20th century.

Traditionally, the society took great pride in their animals and able-bodied gaucho workers, and would hold parades at their annual meetings, held in Buenos Aires, showcasing their workers and their animals, competing for awards.

The parade took place at a Belle Epoque style stadium that was built at the turn of the 20th century, called La Rural; there was also an exhibition hall built. It still stands in its original location, just behind Plaza Italia. The society is still in operation today, and has over 10,000 members all over the country. The exhibition also continues to this day, with its annual meeting and parades, even though it’s not quite what it was in its heyday. See this Argentina Travel Guide for more information about cultural events in Buenos Aires.

For those who love history, love a good show, want a better understanding of Argentina, or all of the above, the Opera Pampa presents a clear view of what the society, and the country, was like at its best.

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It is a show with top-notch costumes, dancing, and general theatrics. Nothing is left out of this tumultuous history, which means even the violence is portrayed. It beginnings with the brutal Spanish conquest of the land and the native inhabitants, and continues through the country’s independence of 1810. From there, see Roca’s intense massacre of thousands of natives in the province of Buenos Aires, which is an especially violent and sad part of the show. The revolution, which was led by General San Martín, is also depicted, complete with charging horses and (fake) cannon fights. Check for more activities in this Buenos Aires travel guide.

The show is not all go, go, go, though. Beautifully choreographed traditional dance, called the Zamba, is also shown as gauchos sing and dance in the traditional country bars where they would relax after a long day on the farm. As if the show wasn’t excitement enough, afterwards there is a huge all-you-can-eat Argentine asado, where you will be served extraordinary cuts of steak with all the fixings. Dinner is option, and costs extra.

The show is a great way to further your understanding of Argentina, and is especially popular as Argentina celebrates its bicentennial this year, in 2010. The violence may make some parents wary of bringing the kids, but it is generally very exciting and educational, and is thus fit for a family affair.

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