If Strathmore audiences are anything like the ones in Dallas, few will be watching soprano Haley Glennie-Smith performing her part in the live performance of the musical score of "Planet Earth."
"In our opening shows in Dallas, [I] looked out at the audience and they all had their chins tilted up and their eyes really wide and their mouths open," she said.
Little wonder. As the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the hauntingly beautiful music from "Planet Earth," the BBC's award-winning documentary, high-definition nature footage will be projected on screens above the orchestra.
"This is all very new to me," Glennie-Smith said. She will be vocalizing in tones that mimic the duduk, a double-reed woodwind instrument popular in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. "I'm using my voice as an instrument in the orchestra."
If you go Planet Earth Live Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda When: 8 p.m. Thursday Info: $20 to $62; 301-581-5100; strathmore.org
"Planet Earth," a BBC/Discovery co-production, first aired on the Discovery Channel in 2007. BBC series producer Alastair Fothergill and his team spent four years traveling to 204 locations in 62 countries gathering footage that illustrates a portrait extraordinaire of our planet. From the heights of the Himalayas to the dank and sunless world of cave dwellers, the documentary offers unique and spellbinding images of the creatures who share our world. George Fenton is the musical composer for "Planet Earth" and guest conductor for each orchestra performing on the tour.
" 'Planet Earth' made a very special connection with the American audience, and we are all very excited at the opportunity to re-create the 'Planet Earth' experience live," he said.
No stranger to the musical production of award-winning scores, Fenton won BAFTA and Emmy awards for his television score of the "Blue Planet" in 2001. From that project, he created the show "The Blue Planet Live!" that toured in the U.K. and worldwide.
A professional performer living in London and usually hired to do studio vocal sessions, Glennie-Smith met Fenton when he was working on another series. He approached her last summer about performing vocals in four of the musical pieces in "Planet Earth."
"It's a wonderful opportunity to travel around and perform with some really great orchestras," Glennie-Smith said.
And as for standing in front of the screen that projects some of the most beautiful images of the Earth to audiences' amazed eyes?
"Even though I have my back to the screen, I caught a lot of [the images] in rehearsals. "It's really something."