Symphonic music and picturesque scenes of nature are set to be the main attraction at the Mount Baker Theatre when “Our Planet Live in Concert” comes to Bellingham on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
“Our Planet” was originally a documentary series on Netflix narrated by David Attenborough and William Shatner that highlighted the natural beauty of Earth. The series also focused on the imminent threat climate change and detrimental human actions pose to ecosystems around the world.
The music for “Our Planet” was composed by British composer Steven Price. Price won an Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on the movie “Gravity” in 2014.
Price said the staggering visuals and moving stories portrayed in “Our Planet” forced him to write emotionally charged pieces of music. Early on in the recording and writing process of the Netflix show, the idea of turning “Our Planet” into a moving orchestra crossed Price’s mind.
“During one of the early recording sessions, as the orchestra played the score sitting beneath a big screen in Abbey Road Studios, I remember floating the idea to the people in the room. … Wouldn’t it be great to play this live for an audience one day?” Price said via email. “The thought seemed to excite everyone so we found ourselves on the journey that has taken us to the present tour. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m so proud of the show.”
Price said the intricacies of designing and producing symphonic music for movies and documentaries are rewarding but frustrating at times. Despite any setbacks that may stand in his way, he is always searching for his next breakthrough.
“Every project is so different and brings such different challenges, but they all share the search for those moments where music and the story being told onscreen come together in ways that hopefully make something more than the sum of its parts,” Price said.
In an attempt to raise money for conservationism, a portion of the profits made from the concert will be donated directly to the World Wildlife Fund.
“The concert series is an opportunity to bring critically important, majestic landscapes and species to life for audiences of all ages and to connect them to WWF’s global conservation work,” said Jennafer Bonello, a director on the media and external affairs team at WWF, via email.
Bonello said that although WWF is known mainly for its wildlife protection, they also focus on other areas of conservation.
“While many know us from the iconic panda logo, our work extends to the conservation of our world’s forests, oceans and freshwater rivers and streams. And we also work to combat threats we face today, like climate change and unsustainable food systems,” Bonello said.
Meghan Hurley, the marketing director for the Mount Baker Theatre, is thrilled about the upcoming show. Hurley said tickets start at $34.50 and range greatly in price. As of Thursday, Feb. 9, Hurley said two-thirds of tickets were sold out.
While the most expensive tickets are for the front row, Hurley said there really isn’t a bad seat in the Mount Baker Theatre.
“For this particular show, we have a giant video projection screen that will be showing the film. And then we will also have an 18-piece orchestra that is touring with the film that will be on stage,” Hurley said.
The magic of live music coupled with beautiful scenes of nature are perfect for anyone looking for something to do on a Friday night, Hurley said. Whether it’s a date night, a fun night with friends or just a solo night out on the town, the ambiance and implied message “Our Planet Live in Concert" gives its audience is clear.
Price said he loved working on the original “Our Planet” because of how honest it was about the condition Earth is currently in. He said the film showcased the seemingly insurmountable struggles we all face, while also painting a picture of hope for our future.
“I say at the start of every show that we hope that there are moments you laugh, and there may well be moments that you cry, and that has proved pretty true in the shows we’ve performed around the world so far,” Price said. “But I think the real significance of performing the show live is that it really reflects the fact we are all together, experiencing every aspect of the planet.”
Mathew Callaghan (he/him) is a senior sports reporter for the Front this quarter. He plans to major in journalism and minor in law, diversity and justice through Fairhaven. In his free time, Mathew likes to write, hike, read and play basketball.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.