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Olivia Newton-John: Live at the Sydney Opera House

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Olivia Newton John & The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Live At The Sydney Opera House. Filmed live in March 2006, this DVD captures Olivia live with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and contains full concert footage featuring her most popular & enduring hits, fan favorites, songs near & dear to her and a medley of hits from the movie 'Grease' all interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage from the historic event.


From "If Not for You" to "Physical," from Grease to Xanadu, from her successful battle against breast cancer to her support of numerous environmental causes, Olivia Newton-John has had a long, fruitful, and impressive career, as Live at the Sydney Opera House, a good-looking, great-sounding, beautifully performed concert recorded in 2006, will testify. Born in 1948, Newton-John is one of those singers who these days would be known as a diva, were it not for the fact that her musical style and overall manner are too self-effacing for so presumptuous a term. And while her voice is a bit less pristine these days than when she came on the scene with a series of country-flavored singles in the '70s, what little she's lost in purity is balanced by an increase in soul; she'll never be Etta James, but once she warms up, she hits the high notes with ease and sings with considerable power and confidence. What's more, though she's usually categorized as an adult contemporary artist, in the course of this career-spanning, 27-song set (backed by a first-rate band and the full Sydney Symphony Orchestra), she reveals herself to be at ease with a variety of styles, ranging from the aforementioned country ("Let Me Be There," "Please Mr. Please," and a rousing version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene") through soft pop ("I Honestly Love You," "Have You Never Been Mellow"), the movie hits (two from Xanadu and three from Grease), an electronically re-created duet with the late Peter Allen ("Tenterfield Saddler"), and even a creditable go at the torch standard "Cry Me a River." There are no DVD bonus features, but between-songs bits find Newton-John, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and members of the band providing a tourist's eye view of Sydney. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Olivia Newton-John, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EMI
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Olivia Newton-John: Live at the Sydney Opera House" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had seen some teasers of this concert on PBS and thought it looked pretty tight, so I was hopeful it would be better than the pretty-good concert Olivia put out in limited release from 2002. MY how she has grown in confidence since then! She was really at ease with ALL of her musical styles here, and with the audience, and with her band.

For those who have seen her live in this century (haha, but quite seriously), you know she has stuck with a particular musicians in her band line-up at guitar & backing vocals & a multi-instrumentalist. Well, they have all improved together over the years, and she splits her vocal duets with all of them plus a video with peter allen (RIP) that is quite dramatic instead of what you'd think (cheesy) -- it came off like a beautiful surreal movie. Step back Babs Streisand, theres a superior mature female vocalist with wider musical range of selection and a purer heart! Olivia is just in her finest form!

Not only do the duets remind you what a skilled duets singer she is -- she has an entirely unique ability to blend her voice with others, always giving them the space to excel while quietly creating the whole landscape on which the feeling of the song sits! But its clear she gets on with the band so well, and they ALL clearly LIKE each other and "Get it" about Olivia, and help support her being the best she can be. You are not watching a concert of a group that is just there to get their paycheck and join the next artist's tour. They are ALL on board just for Olivia, and over the last 8 years, their loyalty has turned up real gold in their performances together. I dont say this because "thats nice" but because it makes for great collaborative music. Add in the lush Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and you have a classic.
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Format: DVD
The greatest test of a singer is how they sing live, and hopefully with no pre-recorded tracks and amplified back-tracking. That said it seems that a number of singers who came of age in the 1970's are the ones who continue to deliver the goods live.

Olivia is a real life survivor, and here she is backed by not only the Sydney Symphony, but her own tight band and real live back-up vocalists. Sometimes artists have the urge to delv into the world of cover songs, or sing a lot of new material, here Olivia stands by the age tested showbiz saying, give the people want they want.

In a very polished, and classy way, she delivers the hits from all phases are her long career. Have You Ever Been Mellow, and a medley of her Country hits, such as Let Me Be There, do justice to her early years, and although the film of Xanadu was not a hit, the soundtrack was, and she shows us why.

Physical, from the album of the same name, and her biggest seller todate, gets a revamp here, but the playfullnes of the song remains, as it does on Make A Move On Me.

Grease is well represented here (as it should be), and these songs never seem to grow old, and I doubt they ever will. A star in his own right, Warren Ham, fills in for John Travolta, and frankly sings better than Mr. Travolta ever could.

Olivia closes the show with the beautiful ballad, I Honesty Love You, a song written by fellow Australian, the late, great, Peter Allen. Like a number of her peers, Ms. Newton-John could just as easily sit home and watch the royalty checks come in, instead she continues to dazzle her fans and gain new ones. A class act indeed!

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I haven't heard much from Olivia in the past decade or so. That is until I stumbled across a PBS special Live at the Sydney Opera. She not only looks incredible, but sounds exactly the same as she did when I saw Grease. I actually pre-ordered this DVD as a result of seeing this special. GOD she looks and sounds great and thank GOD I saw this, I forgot I was madly in love with her.
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Format: DVD
I have to admit it's taken me years to warm up to Olivia Newton-John as I originally wrote her off as the most pre-packaged of pop singers with her breathy voice and her Breck-girl prettiness. However, there is no denying her longevity in such an unforgiving business. When I saw the stage version of Xanadu on Broadway in December, it was as much a tribute to her as it was to the surreal travesty the movie is. It's been nearly four decades since her first stateside success, a twangy cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not for You", which she performs here as the lead-off to a sit-down medley of her country hits. Capturing her at the Sydney Opera House in March 2006, this concert DVD gives testament to her enduring career, and at a slightly cosmetically altered 57, her slightly throatier voice may have lost some of the higher notes but still maintains the pop sheen she's always had.

Olivia's set is pretty extensive with 27 songs over the course of its 127-minute running time, long by most concert standards although there is filler in the form of random home-movie video clips of her trip to Sydney. Obviously, she has a wealth of musical material from which to cull, so it's a tribute to her that her repertoire is so varied. Most of the songs remain true to the original arrangements, although a few have been dramatically changed like the anachronistically samba-sized version of "Physical". The only times where Olivia falters is on the songs that require her early-years tremolo like the opener, "Have You Never Been Mellow?", where you can hear the strain. Otherwise, she is quite relaxed, perhaps too much so as her sometimes intimate delivery appears at odds with the cavernous opera house.
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