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Sarah Brightman - La Luna: Live In Concert

EMI/EMI . R4 . COLOR . 89 mins . G . PAL


Sarah Brightman has been described as having a ‘crystalline voice’. She is a star of stage, opera and popular music being described as a ‘diva’ and a true ‘crossover’ artist. I hesitate to think how long she has been doing her ex-husband’s Phantom of the Opera or Cats (that’s Andrew Lloyd-Webber by the way). Costume changes are plenty.

La Luna is a very high budget live production with full orchestra and dance crew. This comes across with an elaborate stage although it comes across slightly ‘Celine Dion’ with plentiful billowing satin and the like.

Brightman has chosen songs that tend to reflect the title (‘of the moon’) although there are excerpts from Turandot, Phantom and some from left field like Moon River and A Whiter Shade of Pale. The good thing is that there is a lot of variety from the simple single vocal, duets (notably Josh Groban), choral backing songs and the large stage numbers. Sumptuous is the word with dancers on wires and ‘large’ numbers.

This was shot live at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I have seen it a few times now and sometimes wonder how it can be so perfect for the entire production. There is nary a dropped note by vocals or instrument - the stage performers are perfect.

Then I remembered that Sarah is a long-time stage performer, hence the note perfect production. Far be it for me to rail against perfection, however in some performances the ‘live’ aspect could be helped with some variation providing a new interpretation to an old catalogue number. You will not get that here, this is production choreographed to the second.

Track List:

  1. La Lune
  2. Winter in July
  3. Scarborough Fair
  4. Who Wants to Live Forever?
  5. Hijo de la Luna
  6. La Luna Interlude I
  7. Figlio Perduto
  8. La Luna
  9. La Califfa
  10. Pie Jesu
  11. La Luna Interlude II
  12. Nessun Dorma
  13. Siren
  14. Deliver Me
  15. He Doesn't See Me
  16. La Luna Interlude III
  17. A Whiter Shade of Pale
  18. There for Me
  19. Twisted Every Way
  20. Phantom of the Opera Suite
  21. Little Lotti
  22. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
  23. Music of the Night
  24. A Question of Honour
  25. Moon River
  26. Time to Say Goodbye


The video is full frame and of absolutely superb quality. I cannot fault this one. Colours are stable, saturated and with zero bleed. Skin tones are accurate. Smoke has that translucent quality.

Towards the end is a sequence with ticker tape streaming thru lights. This is hard for MPEG compression, however this transfer handles it perfectly. Camera work is excellent and editing is unobtrusive. This must be shot on video but it is very, very close to film.


There are three tracks, a 448k/s Dolby Digital 5.1 track, a 768k DTS 5.1 track and a 1,536k/s PCM track. All are quite excellent.

For me it's a toss up between the PCM and the DTS 5.1 tracks. The PCM track has an excellent soundstage and would be close to reference if it were a CD.

The DTS track has better ambience, soundstage and timbre than the Dolby track. I thought the DTS track was full bitrate - it is that good.

Every instrument is separated, vocals are exceptionally clear with every word having perfect enunciation and timing. Every breath is recorded.

Bass is reasonably strong given that this is not a bass heavy track, except with the lower registers of the piano and drums. Rear use is not as apparent, the way it should be. Audience participation is limited.


Bountiful for a music disc, or any disc for that matter. Quality and quantity are there, this can be seen in the text biography which scrolls so there's no need to hit 'next'.

Firstly there's a swag of technical making of videos which go into the process of recording this DVD and the mixing stage, rehearsals, promotions, photo shoots and touring. All are done 'fly on the wall' style with Brightman providing commentary, La Luna was destined for DVD production from the start and this gives a good insight into stage and disc production. All run a few minutes and are very polished.

There's a Q&A interview which has the questions in text on the left and Sarah explaining herself on the right. If you ever wanted to know the motivations of La Luna, the tracks chosen and the polished production, this interview explains all. It runs roughly five minutes.

There's a Tour Map which is depicted in computer graphics format as a globe and 'flight lines' depicting each location played in 2000 and 2001. Cute.

There is a bonus music video, Brightman's version of Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, which is in Dolby Stereo only. There are even lyrics ('subtitles') that can be turned on. The menus are extremely polished with individual music for each screen, the photos are professional as are animations. Truly an exhausting set of extras.


There are three Sarah Brightman discs available and this is easily the best in all departments - music performance, video and audio presentantion.

This is a showcase music DVD as it is clear how a production that is 'produced for DVD' can have the best music, video and extras for a complete package.

This is a reasonably hard disc to obtain, however it is worth seeking out. I play this one often.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1513
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  •  DVD NET Gold Review List 
      And I quote...
    "A perfect music DVD - faultless in music content, video, extras and it has DTS sound..."
    - Tony Lai
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    • MPEG Card:
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    • Decoder:
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    • Amplifier:
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    • Speakers:
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    • Centre Speaker:
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    • Surrounds:
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    • Subwoofer:
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    • Audio Cables:
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    • Video Cables:
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