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Thread: Operas with good overtures but not so good operas?

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    Default Operas with good overtures but not so good operas?

    I was just curious, but are there operas, in which the overture is better than the opera itself? (It can be overture, prelude, or whatever term the composer uses for the intro piece)

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    Senior Member drpraetorus's Avatar
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    I've always been under the suspicion that moist of the operas know only by their overtures fall into that category. Pieces like Zampa, Raymond, Poet and Peasant. It would be interesting to find out.

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    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    A lot of people find Schumann's Genoveva a mediocre opera, although the overture seems well regarded.

    Personally, I think the opera is excellent!

    Drpraetorus, Zampa also came to my mind.
    Last edited by Novelette; Dec-29-2012 at 07:45.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    As a non-fan of opera, I think almost all overtures are better than what follows. In fact, I love overtures! They're like symphonies, only bite-sized.


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    The overture to Don Giovanni has better music than the rest of the opera up until Act 2 finale.
    Last edited by ComposerOfAvantGarde; Dec-29-2012 at 09:29.

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    This is true for quite a few of Haydn's operas. Especially L'isola disabitata.

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    Senior Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    I would never say Mascagni's Amica is a 'not so good Opera' (I'd rank it quite high in my Mascagni chart) however the overture is by far the highest point of the Opera.
    It's chilling how moody it is.

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    To non-Verdi fans La forza del destino is a long and confusing opera, but it has a fabulous overture.
    Ann

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I think Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper is a delightful opera, but most of those who have heard about it are only familiar with the Polka.

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    Senior Member Xavier's Avatar
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    Wagner's Rienzi and Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor

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    Senior Member waldvogel's Avatar
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    Weber's Oberon and Euryanthe are excellent overtures to operas that have essentially disappeared.

    There are quite a few operas that I only know from their overtures, which I definitely like... perhaps the operas are good, or perhaps not.

    Auber: The Crown Diamonds
    Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor
    Glinka: Ruslan and Ludmilla
    Cornelius: The Barber of Baghdad
    Last edited by waldvogel; Dec-30-2012 at 00:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by composerofavantgarde View Post
    the overture to don giovanni has better music than the rest of the opera up until act 2 finale.
    what???????

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldvogel View Post
    Weber's Oberon and Euryanthe are excellent overtures to operas that have essentially disappeared.

    There are quite a few operas that I only know from their overtures, which I definitely like... perhaps the operas are good, or perhaps not.

    Auber: The Crown Diamonds
    Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor
    Glinka: Ruslan and Ludmilla
    Cornelius: The Barber of Baghdad
    I think other reason than their quality or lack thereof have contributed to the disappearance of Oberon and Euryanthe. Probably Der Freischütz towering importance and relative popularity.

    As for Nicolai's Lustigen Weiber, I rather like it, but I agree that the overture is better than the rest of the opera.

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    Senior Member eorrific's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    The overture to Don Giovanni has better music than the rest of the opera up until Act 2 finale.
    Not a Don G fan, huh? Though, you do like the finale?

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    Senior Member Hesoos's Avatar
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    The overture to Der Freischütz is better than the opera (I don't say that the opera is not worth it, this opera is nice). This ouverture contains all the best themes in the opera (at exception of the hunters' chorus).

    Medea by Cherubini is another case.

    The overture to Falstaff by Salieri is very nice too!
    1813 - 2013 Verdi and Wagner 200 years

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