In June 2020, Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House emerged from its lockdown-induced siesta by throwing a concert to a rather unusual audience. The attendees did not need masks or gloves in the middle of the pandemic, nor did they be required to follow physical distancing rules.
However, they did take along a nice comfy pot and some water to prevent their roots from drying out as a string quartet serenaded, fittingly, with Puccini’s Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums).
A total of 2,292 plants occupied the venue’s seats to listen to the opera house’s first post-lockdown concert. Non-vegetal music fans also enjoyed the performance via live-streamed.
According to the Liceu’s artistic director Víctor García de Gomar, the Concert for the Biocene, played by the Uceli quartet, was intended to help us ponder the current state of the human condition and how, in lockdown, we became “an audience deprived of the possibility of being an audience”.
For Eugenio Ampudia, the conceptual artist behind the concert, the project will serve to reflect what happened across Spain and around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, that forced people to retreat from shared public areas.
“At a time when an important part of humankind has shut itself up in enclosed spaces and been obliged to relinquish movement, nature has crept forward to occupy the spaces we have ceded,” explained Ampudia.
After the concert, every plant found a new home, with each of them being donated to 2,292 health workers as a thank you for their heroic efforts over the pandemic