Barcelona Opera House Reopens With Concert for 2,292 Plants
A Barcelona opera house played its first concert since mid-March to an unusual audience: 2,292 plants.
The "Concert for the Biocene" at the Liceu opera house came the day after Spain finally lifted an emergency order put in place to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Reuters reported. A string quartet played Giacomo Puccini's "Chrysanthemum," bowing respectfully before and after to its leafy audience.
"Nature advanced to occupy the spaces we snatched from it," Eugenio Ampudio, the conceptual artist behind the unique concert, said during a rehearsal Sunday, according to Reuters. "Can we extend our empathy? Let's begin with art and music, in a great theatre, by inviting nature in."
Human listeners were invited in too via a livestream.
The concert organizers are also sharing the event in another way.
"After the concert, the plants will be donated with a certificate from the artist to 2,292 people who have been on the healthcare frontlines, the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations, in recognition of their work," a Liceu press release explained.
The plants came from local nurseries and will be given to workers at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona in particular.
Spain has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, with 28,323 deaths and 246,272 cases to date, according to Reuters. As it emerges from lockdown, theaters and cinemas are being allowed to reopen with limits on audience size, NPR reported.
Monday's unique concert was conceived as a prelude to the opera's 2020-2021 season.
"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," the opera house wrote.
The concert also embodies Liceu artistic director Víctor García de Gomar's goal of forging dialogue between the venue and the visual arts. It is a collaboration between the Liceu, Ampudia, the Max Estrella Gallery and the curator Blanca de La Torre. As part of the collaboration, Ampudia took pictures and a video during the performance that will be added to the Contemporary Art Collection of "la Caixa."
"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 press release said.
- Beat the COVID-19 Blues With These Wildlife and Nature Livecams ... ›
- Destruction of Nature Is Triggering Pandemics, Say Leaders of WWF ... ›
- Scientists Warn Worse Pandemics Are on the Way if We Don't ... ›
- Unique Performance Space in Scotland Is Being Built With Recycled Pianos - EcoWatch ›
- Spain Breaks COVID-19 Record for Western Europe With 500,000+ Cases - EcoWatch ›
Walking to work or to the store is better for the climate than driving, so climate advocates encourage people to leave their cars at home when possible.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
An independent market monitor says ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, left wholesale electricity prices at the legal maximum for two days longer than necessary, and overcharged power companies $16 billion in the process during the winter storm that caused massive grid and gas system failures and left more than 4 million Texans without electricity.
- Extreme Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc on Grid, Energy Markets ... ›
- How the Texas Electricity System Produced Low-Cost Power but Left ... ›
- Polar Vortex Power Outages: 6 Things to Know About Supply ... ›
- Winter Storm in Texas Sparks Renewable Energy Debate - EcoWatch ›
- Texas Blackout: Death Toll Mounts, Food and Water Are Impacted ... ›
By Thomas Gordon-Martin
According to a global food waste index released on Thursday, some 931 million tons of food waste were generated across the world in 2019. The report, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and UK charity WRAP, equates that to 17% of all food available to consumers.
- 12 Creative Ways to Cut Down on Food Waste in Your Kitchen ... ›
- Can the U.S. Slash Food Waste in Half in the Next Ten Years ... ›
- 23 Organizations Eliminating Food Waste During COVID-19 ... ›
- Food Waste Set to Increase by 33 Percent Within 10 Years - EcoWatch ›
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.