Hashing passwords with a decent, secure hash function before pushing them into bcrypt is a reasonable and secure way to keep all the goodness of bcrypt, and additionally support passwords of arbitrary size.
You still want to exercise caution about some practical details. In particular, many bcrypt implementations expect a password, i.e. a sequence of characters, terminating with the first byte of value 0x00. The output of SHA-512 is binary and thus may contain some bytes of value 0x00. For instance, 1/256th of all passwords will yield a hash value which begins with a byte of value 0x00, that a string-based bcrypt instance will understand as equivalent to an empty password. This is not good...
The solution is to use a deterministic bytes-to-characters encoding, e.g. Base64. Since this implies some size extension, SHA-512 will no longer be adequate (Base64 turns 64 bytes into 88 characters, more than the 72 limit of bcrypt). Therefore, use SHA-256: the 256-bit output (32 bytes) will be encoded by Base64 into 44 characters, and that will be fine with bcrypt.
(The 512-bit output size of SHA-512 is utter overkill anyway. SHA-256 is good enough.)