If there was ever an ideal fusion of spectacular vision and superb live music, then an orchestra playing in front of scenes from the BBC’s glorious Planet Earth would have to be it.
Australia has just finished witnessing four such extravaganzas at Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney – each a thrilling journey for the senses featuring bravo performances by premier state ensembles.
The Starfish attended the first of the Blue Planet II Live in Concert events at the Perth Arena, where the scenes were projected on a giant screen with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra playing below – and what a night out it was!
The WASO was under the baton of accomplished guest conductor Vanessa Scammell, and the scenes vividly narrated by Australian actor Eric Bana.
The breath-taking footage was set to a score by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea & Jasha Klebe for Bleeding Fingers Music.
Produced by BBC Studio’s Natural History Unit and presented by Sir David Attenborough, Planet Earth II was filmed over three years using advanced camera technology and cutting edge filming techniques.
It elevated screen natural history to a whole new level, allowing audiences to experience nature from completely new perspectives – closer, more immersive, intricate and beautiful.
The scenes spanned the globe and filled the Arena with the glory and wonder of the world we live in.
The audience was swept away on a journey to the most spectacular landscapes, cities and habitats on Earth to meet the amazing creatures that inhabit these environments.
We witnessed acrobatic primate cousins in the steaming jungles of Madagascar, love-struck sloths island-hopping for a mate; watched hunting lions in the deserts of Namibia, and faced wild Antarctic seas with a family of penguins; cheered for baby Galapagos iguanas scarpering from determined racer snakes, dancing grizzly bears with an itch; the bravery of a mother snow leopard, and the alpine tussles of golden eagles…to name just a few!
“This is an evocative, emotional musical and visual experience that shows the wonder of nature on an unprecedented scale,” said Planet Earth II, Executive Producer, Mike Gunton.
“The team and I have been absolutely enthralled by the wonderful music score that Hans, Jacob and Jasha have written for us.
“It feels so contemporary, cinematic and sensitive and provides the final, essential ingredient of Planet Earth II – one that superbly evokes not only the power and drama of nature but the humour and charm of our planet’s animals.”
Composer Zimmer is known for his work on work on the likes of Gladiator, Interstellar and Blade Runner 2049, but said that the landmark BBC series stood out amongst his work.
“Planet Earth II is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. “Some of the greatest action scenes ever put on film, some of the most emotional, epic, fragile scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Filmmaking at its absolute peak.”
One of the nicest aspects of the Attenborough TV series’ is that the terrible damage mankind is doing to the planet is rarely made a depressing, focal issue.
No the other hand, simply by witnessing the beauty that exists in the world the doco makers encourage us to ask, “Why the hell would we want to see such magnificence degraded or destroyed?”
Perhaps this is a more effectual approach for sustaining what is left of our fragile planet’s flora and fauna. This notion certainly came across at the Perth Arena the other night.
Unfortunately, Planet Earth II Live in Concert only ran for one night in each Australian city and has moved on.
Bu if you missed it here, why not jump on a plane and see it elsewhere, as this is rare and sublime entertainment at its best!