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Barcelona Opera House Opens With a Concert for an Audience of 2,292 Plants

Concert for Plants at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona

Barcelona’s opera house has celebrated its reopening to the public since the coronavirus pandemic put the world at a standstill, but their opening night had an unusual audience. For its first concert, the theater forwent the usual crowd of people and instead packed the house with plants. Yes, that’s correct. All 2,292 seats at the Gran Teatre Liceu were occupied by leafy green plants.

The idea was conceived by conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia and was broadcast live on the theater’s website. These lucky ficus trees, palms, and Swiss cheese plants—which were brought in by local nurseries—got the pleasure of hearing Puccini’s Crisantemi performed by the UceLi Quartet string quartet.

Ampudia hopes that the work will inspire people to think more deeply about their relationship with nature and the concept of sustainability. “We are at the end of an era and that means that we have to change certain paradigms,” he shares. “We don’t live in the same world as 90 days ago, and this means we have to reflect on everything that we do.”

As plants can respond to different vibrations caused by music, they certainly weren’t a passive audience—even if they weren’t able to give applause. Now that the concert is over, each plant will be given to a different frontline healthcare worker who helped guide the country through its battle with the coronavirus.

The moving concert is a continuation of the Liceu’s mission to create a dialogue between music and the visual arts. Pictures and a video of the performance taken by Ampudia will now become part of La Caixa contemporary art collection.

The Gran Teatre di Liceu reopened with a special concert given to 2,292 plants.

Concert for Plants at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in BarcelonaAerial View of Plant Audience at the Barcelona OperaMusicians Playing Concert for Plants at the Gran Teatre Liceu BarcelonaConcert for Plants at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona

Watch as a string quartet plays to a house packed with plants at the Barcelona opera.

Gran Teatre del Liceu: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images via Gran Teatre del Liceu.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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