Barcelona opera reopens to full house — of plants

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Spain had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, but now the cities are opening again. On Monday, Barcelona’s Liceu opera opened for its first concert since mid-March to a full house — of plants, reported NPR.

The Gran Teatre del Liceu filled its 2,292 seats with plants for a performance by the UceLi Quartet, which it called a prelude to its 2020-2021 season. The plants were brought from local nurseries and will be donated along with a certificate from the artist to 2,292 health care professionals, specifically at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.

Organizers wrote that they wanted to recognize the work of health care providers, who have served “on the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations.”

The string quartet played Giacomo Puccini’s “Crisantemi” in the performance, which was also made available to human listeners via a livestream.

“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,” according to a release on the Liceu’s website.

According to the country’s phased-in reopening plan, establishments such as theaters and cinemas can operate with capacity restrictions.

“[The Liceu] 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 read.

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