Barcelona Opera House Reopens To A Sold-Out Audience Of Potted Plants!

By

CCSS NCSS-1 330 Words 3-Minute Listen
The UceLi Quartet performed to an audience of potted plants on June 22, 2020 (Credit: liceubarcelona.ca)

Spain's three-month-long lockdown order imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was finally lifted on June 22, 2020. To celebrate the joyous occasion, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain — one of Europe's oldest and most famous opera houses— staged its first live performance since mid-March. While every seat was occupied, there was not a human to be found. Instead, the sold-out audience comprised 2,292 potted plants carefully selected from local nurseries.

Featuring the UceLi Quartet, the performance, made available to human listeners via live-stream, was a prelude to the opera house's upcoming 2020-2021 season. In a nod to its leafy audience, the string quartet played a moving performance of Giacomo Puccini's "Crisantem" or "Chrysanthemums." Inspired by the beautiful yellow flowers, it is among a handful of instrumental works — and one of only four compositions for string quartet — penned by the famous Italian opera composer. Written in a single night, the musical arrangement pays tribute to King Amadeo of Spain — a close friend of Puccini's — who died in 1890.

After the performance, the plants were donated to 2,292 healthcare frontline workers (Credit liceubarcelona.ca)

Unfortunately for the musicians, the audience was unable to give the mesmerizing eight-minute-long performance the standing ovation it deserved. However, its resounding "applause" — the sound of leaves and branches blowing — could be heard across the opera house.

Eugenio Ampudia, who came up with the brilliant idea of the unusual audience, said he was inspired by nature during the pandemic lockdown. The Spanish artist says, "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 intimate way with people and nature."

Following the concert, the "guests" were gifted to 2,292 healthcare workers at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona. The opera house officials said they wanted to show their appreciation for the brave men and women who have served "on the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations."

Resources: NPR.org, theGuardian.com.

Cite Article
141 Comments
  • love-art
    love-artWednesday, March 3, 2021 at 2:11 pm
    I love greenery!
    • dinobasketball7
      dinobasketball7Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 12:29 pm
      thats really funny!!
      • maria_goodvibes
        maria_goodvibesWednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm
        The music was so good!
        • wolfie99
          wolfie99Monday, November 9, 2020 at 7:44 am
          Love the music!
          • vetibivy-160215184157
            vetibivy-160215184157Monday, November 2, 2020 at 6:56 pm
            I loved the music
            • lolaholy-160215184088
              lolaholy-160215184088Monday, November 2, 2020 at 2:07 pm
              i love the music
              • cygapike-160215184089
                cygapike-160215184089Monday, November 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm
                I loved the music in the concert in barcelona spain.
                • bunnie_kitty
                  bunnie_kittySunday, October 18, 2020 at 5:12 pm
                  I loved the music!
                  • omfgfan32
                    omfgfan32Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:48 am
                    That is the most funny thing in the world!😆😅😂🤣
                    • jvlly
                      jvllyWednesday, October 14, 2020 at 10:10 am
                      the plants seemed to enjoy it...