Wynonna-Live in Venice (Music in High Places) (2002)

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Released 15-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Getting There
TV Spots
Featurette-Location Footage
Music Video
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 50:18
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Alan Carter

Warner Vision
Starring Wynonna
Tom Bukovac
Jon Conley
Steve Mackey
Robert Bailey
Kim Fleming
Vicki Hampton
Case Click
RPI $39.95 Music Wynonna

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Music In High Places web site
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The idea behind Music In High Places (a travel adventure cable TV series not yet shown in Australia to my knowledge) sounds interesting - take a musician/recording artist to an exotic/remote location, get them to talk to the locals and visit famous landmarks a la Michael Palin's travel adventures and get them to perform some of their best known songs "on location." Package it all up as a travelogue or travel documentary cum music videos/live performances. Microsoft has also got into the act by making certain segments from the series available as streaming Windows Media files on MSN (http://www.musicinhighplaces.msn.com - although when I recently tried to access this site it seems to have disappeared and MSN doesn't seem to mention it anymore).

    This "instalment" or "episode" features country singer Wynonna Judd in various places in northern Italy, including Venice, Bologna and Parma. Note that the title of the disc says "Live In Venice" which is somewhat stretching the truth.

    Wynonna Ellen Judd (born: Christina Claire) was born in Ashland, Kentucky in 1964. She paired up with her mother Naomi to form a singing duo called The Judds which achieved huge success, including four Grammys and over 11 million in album sales including six gold, three platinum and one double platinum. Unfortunately, Naomi had to retire due to chronic hepatitis contracted when she was a nurse and Wynonna had to launch a solo career. Since then she has released several successful albums (the most recent being New Day Dawning released in 2000) as well as toured all over the USA. Wynonna's sister Ashley Judd is an actress with films such as "Someone Like You," "Eye Of The Beholder" and "Where The Heart Is" to her credit.

    Visiting Venice is somewhat of a spiritual pilgrimage for Wynonna as her ancestors were from Sicily and her grandfather had wished that she would sing in Italy before he died. The video features acoustic performances by Wynonna and members of her band performing at or visiting various places including beside a Venetian canal; in front of an ancient 13th century castle in the village of Fontanellato; as well as at the magnificent cathedral, the Basilica di San Patronio - which required special permission from the Vatican.

    Other musical highlights included a surprise visit by Italian singing star, Zucchero, who performed solo and who also sang a duet with Wynonna on "No One Else On Earth." In addition, the episode followed Wynonna as she took a gondola ride, travelled to the hallowed Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, visited the Abbazia di Santo Stefano in Bologna, and walked around the famous Piazza San Marco (where she met some American tourist fans).

    If you can get used to the incongruity of country music performed in the context of the classical and renaissance architecture of Italy, then you will enjoy this disc. Curiously, it's not as much of a travel documentary as I would have hoped, because we don't actually get to see some of the famous sites of Venice - at least, not inside them anyway.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. New Day Dawning
2. Change The World
3. Somebody To Love You
4. Va Pensiero
5. No One Else On Earth
6. My Angel Is Here
7. Only Love
8. How Great Thou Art
9. When I Reach The Place I'm Goin'
10. Testify To Love

Transfer Quality


    Apart from the opening title sequence, which is presented in full frame, the feature is presented in roughly 1.85:1 but with no 16x9 enhancement.

    The transfer is based on an interlaced video source (resulting in some minor shimmering such as around 31:36-31:41). The transfer seems somewhat soft and colours somewhat yellowish. Shadow detail is about average for a video source.

    There are three subtitle tracks on the disc; French, German, and Spanish. I turned them on briefly just to check that they did exist.

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). I did not notice the layer change, and I suspect it occurs in between titles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks present: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) and English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kb/s) . I listened to mainly the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track appears to be sourced from a stereo mix and then electronically enhanced for surround. The rear channels are used to convey ambience and the centre channel is silent. The LFE track is mainly used to reinforce the low frequencies in the track.

    I was very pleasantly surprised by the audio quality of the music performances (given the recording conditions). However, I suspect the mix has been enhanced and post-processed to improve the quality of the audio track. The directional microphones used to try and capture the sound results in an overall sound that is somewhat harsh and over-sibilant.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 track in comparison lacks punchiness and dynamics and has been encoded at a very low volume level (down by at least 6 dB).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a fair amount of extras accompanying this disc, none of them 16x9 enhanced. The only extra not included that I can think of would be an audio commentary track, but that would be pretty superfluous since the main feature itself is a commentary of sorts on the locations and the music.

    Most of the video extras appear to be presented in 1.75:1 (letterboxed) with a Dolby Digital mono audio track.


    The menus are full frame and static.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (8:06)

    This is a short making-of featurette featuring interviews with:

Featurette - Getting There (4:18)

    This is a very short featurette describing Wynonna and her band travelling in and out of various locations.

Interview - Wynonna (32:55)

    This contains the extended version of the interview segments. Wynonna rambles on a bit, and gets intensely personal at times, relating her visit to her relationship with her grandfather, who turned out to be not her biological grandfather, and recent momentous events in her life such as her mother's divorce. She cries a fair bit, but there's also a strong religious and spiritual conviction in her, and she also recounts many pleasurable memories such as her encounter with Zucchero and ordinary Italians and how she blew up the power trying to blow dry her hair one day!

TV Spots - Promo Spots (0:54)

    This features Wynonna making sound and video "bites" promoting the Music In High Places series on DirectTV, MSN and Radio Shack.

Featurette - Location Footage (14:13)

    This is an extended version of Wynonna talking to her tour guide in a gondola and around Piazza San Marco.

Music Videos

    At first I thought this was a scene selection menu that takes you to the chapters containing the music performances, but it appears that these are separate music videos of the following songs:

    The reason why I think these are separate music videos instead of excerpts from the main feature is that;

  1. The video footage is actually different, which you can verify by comparing the music video with the corresponding chapter on the main feature. In general, the music video focuses more on the musicians playing the music rather than splicing in on location footage.
  2. There is only one audio track for these music videos, Dolby Digital 5.1, as opposed to both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 on the main feature.
  3. The quality of the audio transfer for these music videos is horrible! Lacking in dynamics and sounding somewhat muted, the music videos are underwhelming to listen to and negate the primary reason to offer the music videos separately (presumably so that you and I can focus on and enjoy the music). At least we are provided with a surround sound mix.


    This is a set of six text stills providing a biography of Wynonna.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The disc appears to be identical across Region 1 and 4, with the possible exception of subtitle tracks.


    Music In High Places - Wynonna (Live in Venice) features country music singer Wynonna in Northern Italy (mainly Venice and Bologna). Mediocre video, reasonable audio plus a bunch of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, August 02, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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