Hosting a full audience is still too risky for many theater venues, so Barcelona’s Liceu opera house is trying something a little different — playing to an audience of plants. The opera house just announced that it will perform a concert for 2,292 plants once it reopens next Monday, though human spectators will only be able to watch via livestream on YouTube at 5:00 PM local time, which is 11:00 AM ET and 8:00 AM PT.
The Concert for the Biocene will fittingly feature a string quartet rendition of Puccini’s “Crisantemi” (which translates to “chrysanthemums”), and is intended to provoke serious thought about the current state of the human condition and the changing audience experience during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Eugenio Ampudia, the conceptual artist behind the concert, said the concert’s goal was to reflect what happened across Spain and the rest of the world during the pandemic. “At a time when an important part of humankind has shut itself up in enclosed spaces,” he said, “and been obliged to relinquish movement, nature has crept forward to occupy the spaces we have ceded. And it has done so at its own rhythm, according to its patient biological cycle. Can we broaden our empathy and bring it to bear on other species? Let’s start by using art and music and inviting nature into a great concert hall.”
The concert will take place on June 22. Once it’s over, the plants will be donated to 2,292 health workers as thanks for their recent efforts.