The plants are being sent to healthcare workers in Barcelona following the performance
Liceu Grand Theatre
Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty

After closing down at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house finally reopened to a full house on Monday evening, but with a decidedly atypical audience.

In an event conceived by artist Eugenio Ampudia, the UceLi Quartet string performed to an audience entirely made up of plants.

The theater’s 2,292 seats were filled with the plants, which all came from local nurseries and are being sent to healthcare workers in Barcelona following the performance.

“After a strange, painful period, the creator, the Liceu’s artistic director and the curator Blanca de la Torre 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,” a release from the Liceu said.

The statement continued, “After the concert, the plants will be donated 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.”

The performance came just one day after Spain ended its national state of emergency, lifting a lockdown that had been in place for three months. The country’s residents can now freely travel and visitors from the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel can enter Spain without going through a two-week quarantine.

According to Spain’s reopening plan, theaters, cinemas and other establishments can also now operate with capacity restrictions.

The release from the Barcelona theater noted that the plant performance was a "letter of introduction" to the country’s “return to activity.”

“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,” it said.

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