The Gran Teatre del Liceu opera is back in business after the coronavirus lockdown. Though with an audience made up of plants, it’s not quite what you would normally expect at the famous Barcelona opera house.

More than three months since the hall last opened its doors for a live concert, the music returned earlier this week with a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Crisantemi by the UceLi Quartet.

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But instead of galleries of people, it was a leafy audience of 2 292 seated plants which enjoyed the live music. Humans were able to watch online via a live feed.

Appreciating nature

While the coronavirus has caused much devastation – Spain was one of the worst affected countries – it has also caused many people to question the way we’re living and how our interactions with the environment have a knock-on effect, either for good or bad.

Good in the many examples we saw of cleaner air and increased sightings of wild animals as lockdowns brought about a slow-down of industry and motor vehicle travel.

It was perhaps with this in mind – the importance of respecting nature and appreciating the finer things in life like art and music while moving away from a consumer lifestyle – that the Gran Teatre del Liceu took the decision to hold the unusual opera in Barcelona.

“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 press release reads.

“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.”

After the show, the plants were delivered to healthcare professionals at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

Organizers of the opera thanked the healthcare providers for serving “on the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations.”

Image credits: liceubarcelona and clinicbarcelona