Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house reopened on Monday with its first concert since the coronavirus lockdown – performed to an unusually placid audience.
Without human spectators in the historic concert space, the UceLi Quartet played Giacomo Puccini's I Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) for 2,292 plants, one for each seat in the theatre.
The spectacle transformed the space into a lush garden for one night only, as hundreds of human listeners tuned in to stream the performance at home.
The event was conceived by Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia, who said he had been inspired by nature during the pandemic.
“I heard many more birds singing. And the plants in my garden and outside growing faster,” he said before the performance.
“And, without a doubt, I thought that maybe I could now relate in a much intimate way with people and nature.”
The eight-minute concert ended with the sound of leaves and branches blowing in the wind, which resonated throughout the opera house in place of human applause.
The theatre says it will give the plants to local health workers as a thank-you for their ongoing efforts throughout the pandemic.
Spain’s national state of emergency was lifted on Sunday after three months of restrictions on movement and assembly in the country.
At the time of writing, Spain has recorded more than 247,000 coronavirus infections, with 150,000 recoveries. There have been 28,324 Covid-19 deaths.