Barcelona Opera House Opens With Packed Audience — of Plants

As lockdown measures lift in Spain, Barcelona’s opera house recently played to a sold-out crowd of some very unorthodox music lovers.

On Monday, a string quartet at the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house in Barcelona did a performance in front of 2,292 plants, CNN reported.

Now, it’s a popular belief that classical music can benefit plants, particularly by helping them grow faster and stronger, according to Sciencing. A study once revealed that plants exposed to music for six hours a day showed more growth than plants who were exposed to no sound at all, according to the outlet.

So, it stands to reason that plants are actually avid music lovers — they just can’t clap at the end of a performance.

The “Concierto para el bioceno,” as it was called, was a collaboration between conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia and the UceLi Quartet string quartet, according to CNN. The quartet played Puccini’s “Crisantemi” as part of the event. Humans were also welcome to watch the performance, albeit via a livestream, which is still available on YouTube.

The plants themselves were from nearby nurseries — and each one will be donated to a local healthcare worker from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, according to CNN.

The Gran Teatre del Liceu has been closed since mid-March, according to NPR. The opera house said in a statement, “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.”

“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,” it also said in the statement.