String quartet performs to thousands of plants as Barcelona opera house reopens

Four-piece group played Puccini to auditorium filled with plants

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 24 June 2020 10:43 BST
String quartet plays concert for over 2,000 potted plants

Musicians at Barcelona’s opera house performed to an auditorium filled with plants in celebration of lockdown measures lifting in Spain.

In an event created by conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia, the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house was filled with 2,292 plants on Monday (22 June).

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 14 March, with its state of emergency officially ending on Sunday (21 June).

Cultural venues are now able to reopen throughout the country with limitations on the number of audience members in place.

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