Every musician’s biggest wish is to play so well and captivating that the audience is unable to move. On June 22 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, musicians could experience that feeling because the audience consisted of 2292 plants that were quietly enjoying the performance from the soft red seats.
The opera house has been closed as a safety measure for the coronavirus until that day when the musicians from the Uceli Quartet played Puccini’s “Crisantemi”. All this was made possible with the help of Eugenio Ampudia, an artist, and Victor Garcia de Gomar the artistic director of the opera house.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona had an unusual brilliance opening performance after the lockdown
Victor Garcia said how people were deprived of such absurd things as being part of an audience because of the lockdown. So the whole plant audience idea was a very good way to help people rethink where the world is going. The time that the whole team needed to realize this project was about 30 days from the beginning to the end with all the details, and the most challenging part of all the process, they said, was to position the plants on all the seats.
The quartet performing for their plant audience
It was the first time that The Gran Teatre Del Liceu performed this type for a non-human audience. Everyone from the opera house helped make this performance as flawless as possible, but the two people responsible for creating the idea for this event are Victor Garcia and his friend Eugenio Ampudia, a conceptual artist.
Eugenio Ampudia initially had the idea for performance for plants
After the event, all the plants would be given to health workers as a donation
Eugenio said that their team consisted of many people, besides the opera house staff, the staff from Max Estrella Gallery, and people from his art studio aided them. Maria Platero helped them from Eugenio’s studio, Deborah Tomas and Leticia Martin coordinated the staff from the opera house and Gregorio Camara was the coordinator from the Gallery.
Other people that helped with the audio, camera, and photography were Jose Manuel Artero and Pedro Albornoz.
Eugenio and Victor had known each other for a while ago. They worked on some other projects together as well. In 2015, Eugenio did some performances under the title of “Where to sleep” in the Palau de la Musica. After that, Victor proposed that they should do something at the Barcelona Opera House. The first thing they did at the Liceu Opera was the Concert for the Biocene.
Eugenio said that the most challenging thing about it was getting all the plants. They needed plants from local florists and gardens and they had to be with specific dimensions for all of them to fit on the seats. Eventually, Flores Navarro helped provide the plants and helped with their transport as well.
See the amazing performance of the quartet in the following video
The Liceu Opera House closed its doors in March, but as Spain recovers from the virus, reopening the Opera House is a step towards art being accessible to people once again.
People on the internet loved the performance for the plant audience and they made some really funny puns about it.