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Utah Symphony: The Blue Planet Live!

Thursday Dec. 30 @ Abravanel Hall

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“Under the sea/ Darling it’s better/ Down where it’s wetter/ Take it from me,” sang Sebastian in The Little Mermaid. Other than scuba divers, sushi connoisseurs and Shark Week-watchers, land dwellers generally had to take the little crab’s calypso as fact. That is, until the BBC/Discovery Channel collaboration Blue Planet arrived in 2001.

The series—filmed in more than 200 locations—delved into the big deep blue, showing creatures that had never been seen and displaying stunning cinematography with state-of-the-art equipment. The eight installments covered everything from “The Deep” to “Coasts.”

Now, Blue Planet is being brought to big screens as a concert tour. Begun in 2007 in the United Kingdom, dramatic highlights of the series have been edited together and will be narrated by Sen. Orrin Hatch. While he’s no smooth-talking British naturalist like David Attenborough, the original’s narrator, Hatch’s paternalistic tones provide backgrounder information on the filming process as well as sea trivia.

The highlight will be the Utah Symphony performing George Fenton’s Emmy-winning score. The series’ music and cinematography enjoy a symbiotic relationship, like the clownfish and the sea anemone: Neither overpowers the other’s existence, but each helps the other to thrive. While the music might not have been the primary concern for viewers who watched it on TV, it certainly will at Abravanel Hall—elevating the visceral experience of Blue Planet with each dolphin dive and whale-tail splash.

Utah Symphony: The Blue Planet Live! @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-534-6310, Dec. 30, 8 p.m., $30-$58, ArtTix.org, UtahSymphony.org

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