Barcelona Opera House Reopens — With an Audience of Plants

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Organizers situated a plant in each of the Barcelona Opera House’s 2,192 seats ahead of the UceLi Quartet’s performance.

Following a months-long closure prompted by the novel coronavirus crisis, the Barcelona Opera House (known as the Liceu in Catalan) reopened its doors yesterday, June 22nd, and livestreamed the “Concert for the Biocene.” As the 173-year-old establishment cannot yet safely accommodate a physical audience, organizers filled the seating area with live plants.

Barcelona Opera House officials have uploaded 10 minutes of the performance footage to their YouTube channel, and the high-quality video does an excellent job of showcasing the 2,292 plants (one for each of the venue’s spots) in the audience.

The UceLi Quartet offered a rendition of Giacomo Puccini’s “Crisantemi” to the greenery-filled opera house, stating after the fact that the unique performance will mark the beginning of their return to touring.

Local nurseries generously donated the 2,292 plants that comprised the crowd. And following the show’s conclusion, volunteers delivered these plants to local healthcare professionals, particularly those employed at the “Hospital Clínic de Barcelona,” which is just 10 minutes from the Liceu by car.

The Barcelona Opera House plans to host partial-capacity performances this fall, with tickets set to become available for purchase next Monday, June 29th. Sondra Radvanovsky and Piotr Beczala will perform together on September 27th, while Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov will star in Giuseppe Verdi’s famed Il trovatore on October 1st and 4th.

The Spanish government lifted its more than three-month-long COVID-19 state of emergency on Monday. Though social-distancing measures are still in place, Spain’s residents are allowed to freely travel and patronize businesses, and the state is welcoming European tourists once again.

Of Europe’s nations, Spain is second only to Russia and the United Kingdom in total coronavirus cases. Medical professionals have diagnosed over 293,000 Spaniards with COVID-19 thus far, and approximately 28,000 residents have perished as a result of the disease’s complications.

Globally, doctors have identified over 9.2 million novel coronavirus infections, and the disease has claimed more than 477,000 lives.