club Espagnol interior RosarioRosario, Argentina’s third largest city has a new citizen.  Last night, in the presence of governor of the State of Santa Fe, Hermes Binner, Mayor Lifshitz granted Maestro Zubin Mehta honorary citizenship!  How is it that the IPO has never visited Rosario?  There’s obviously an audience: over 3,000 people attended last night’s concert. 

It was held in the Centro de Eventos Metropolitano, the buildings of the central rail yard built by the British 100 years ago and converted into a mall and cultural center. 

The 4 hour bus trip to Rosario was across flat agricultural land where there were more horses than people.  Wheat, soy and beef are sent down the Parana River, 300 km. to the sea.  The downtown is a fantastic architectural mix of turn of the century wealth and all the influences that extreme economic and political fluctuations have since brought. 

Every turn of a corner holds a surprise, whether an incredible building complete with turrets, stone lions and angels which would look more at home in Barcelona, a European coffee house filled with well dressed “Spaniards”, or a crazy Argentinean bus driver who has the right of way.  (On the way to the airport, one of the drivers misjudged the height of a bridge and smashed some windows on orchestra members.)  The population is entirely European immigrants.  Except for the pick-up trucks and roaming dogs in the early morning, one could easily imagine oneself in Madrid.
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Rosario  press