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Barcelona Opera Reopens With Concert For More Than 2,000 Houseplants

by : Emily Brown on : 24 Jun 2020 09:07
Barcelona Opera Reopens With Concert For More Than 2,000 Houseplants@GaryDewhurst/Twitter/@daniguinart/Twitter

An opera house in Barcelona has reopened following coronavirus shutdowns, and it celebrated by hosting a concert for more than 2,000 houseplants. 

Look, I know they’re called houseplants because they live in the house, but it’s still nice for them to dress up in some fancy flower pots and get out once in a while – perhaps becoming opera-house plants… no?

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The unusual event took place in the Gran Teatre del Liceu on Monday, June 22, one day after Spain’s three-month state of emergency came to an end.

The UceLi Quartet took to the stage ready to fill the opera house with harmonious sounds, but as large gatherings are still a risk, the theatre decided to fill its 2,292 seats with potted plants.

Conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia came up with the idea, explaining the inspiration came from a connection he built with nature during the pandemic, The Guardian reports.

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Ampudia said:

I watched what was going on with nature during all this time. I heard many more birds singing. And the plants in my garden and outside growing faster. And, without a doubt, I thought that maybe I could now relate in a much more intimate way with people and nature.

A statement on the well-oxygenated theatre’s website explained the plants came from local nurseries, and following the concert they are set to be donated, along with a certificate from the artist, to 2,292 people ‘who have been on the healthcare frontlines, the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations, in recognition of their work.’

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It added:

The Liceu, one of the largest and most important opera halls in the world, thus 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.

This dialogue between the Teatre and the visual arts gives continuity to the artistic Liceu de les Arts project being implemented by Víctor Garcia de Gomar and will also be the prelude to the 2020/21 season, full of synergies and encounters between artistic disciplines.

The quartet serenaded its leafy audience with Giacomo Puccini’s Crisantemi, though thankfully the music didn’t fall on deaf – or no – ears, as it was also livestreamed for human listeners.

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Ampudia is set to produce pictures and a video of the performance, which will be part of a Contemporary Art Collection known as ‘la Caixa’.

After lifting its lockdown on Sunday, Spain will undertake a phased-in reopening plan, with theatres and cinemas able to operate with capacity restrictions in place.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Barcelona, lockdown, Now, Spain

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The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Barcelona opera reopens with performance for more than 2000 potted plants – video

  2. Gran Teatre del Liceu

    The artist Eugenio Ampudia inaugurates activity at the Liceu with a concert for 2,292 plants