Barcelona’s Liceu Opera blooms again12:47, 23rd June 2020
If you thought the performing arts world had gone to pot as a result of COVID-19, then the Gran Teatre del Liceu has shown the first evidence that the green shoots of recovery are on the way – literally.
An exuberant audience of potted plants filled the auditorium of Barcleona’s famous opera house on Monday 22 June, the first day that Spain’s state of alert over the coronavirus pandemic was official lifted. The plants were part of a special concert, the work of conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia, featuring the UceLi Quartet playing Puccini’s Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums), an elegy to the composer’s friend Amedeo, Duke of Aosta , who briefly ascended to the Spanish throne in 1868.
While the musicians played on stage, every one of the Liceu’s 2,292 seats was occupied by greenery donated from local nurseries. After the concert, the plants, accompanied by a certificate from the artist, were delivered to 2,292 healthcare professionals working on the frontline of the pandemic at Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic.
The event was part of an initiative by the Liceu’s artistic director, Víctor Garcia de Gomar, to promote creative partnerships between different artistic disciplines. Ampudia’s work was commissioned by Blanca De La Torre, curator of the Max Estrella Gallery in Madrid.
The intention, says the creative team, is to remind people of the intricate relationship between man and nature, which was brought into particularly startling focus during lockdown.