UNBE-LEAF-ABLE: Spanish live music returns with an audience of plants

Barcelona Opera playing to plants

Barcelona’s Liceu opera reopened this week for its first show since mid-March, and although it was indeed playing to a full house, the audience wasn’t exactly jumping out of their seats.

That’s because the audience was actually over 2000 plants. Yes, you read that correctly.

According to NPR, the Gran Teatre del Liceu’s 2,292 seats were filled with plants which were serenaded by the UceLi Quartet’s performance of Giacomo Puccini’s “Crisantemi”. If you were human, you had to watch via livestream.

A statement on the Liceu’s website said, “After a strange, painful period, the creator, the Liceu’s artistic director and the curator Blanca de la Torre 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.”

Now, it’s not confirmed whether the plants will be a mainstay for other events coming up, but these particular plants have since been donated to health professionals as a gesture of gratitude after what has been a truly tragic start to 2020 for many in Spain thanks to COVID-19. The plants, which came from local nurseries, have been donated along with a certificate to health professionals at Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

Spain has been in a national state of emergency for three months now, but this lockdown ended on Sunday, which meant this performance heralded in the re-opening phase of the country. As addressed via the same statement, the Liceu’s website said, “”[The Liceu] welcomes and leads a highly symbolic act that defends the value of art, music and nature as a letter of introduction to our return to activity.”

Words by Emma Jones
Image via Liceu Barcelona

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