Barcelona's opera house reopens to an audience of potted plants
29 Jun 2020
Musicians performing to plants at the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house in Barcelona.
Barcelona’s opera house managed to 'plant' an audience of a different kind in its auditorium in celebration of lockdown measures being lifted in Spain after three months.
Musicians at the opera house performed to an auditorium filled with plants in an event created by conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia.
The concert at the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house was filled with 2,292 potted plants — the full capacity of the venue — and took place on the first day (June 22) after Spain ended its state of emergency.
The plants were treated to a performance of Puccini's "Crisantemi" from the UceLi Quartet string quartet and the video was edited to make the plants look like they were rustling their leaves in applause as the musicians took their bows.
Spectators were able to watch the concert from home via livestream, with the plants, which had come from local nurseries, later being donated to healthcare workers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
A statement from the opera house called Ampudia’s project "a highly symbolic act that defends the value of art, music and nature as a letter of introduction to our return to activity” after a “strange, painful period.”
They also expressed their desire to “offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature.”
Spain first went into lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic on March 14, with its state of emergency officially ending on Sunday (June 21).
Cultural venues are now able to reopen throughout the country with limitations on the number of audience members in place.