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Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depth. Choose from our wide selection of pre-written pieces or commission custom notes that complement your concert story.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depths.

Custom Notes

Tell your own concert story by commissioning synopses and program notes that fit you needs. Just tell us what you’d like to have, and we'll get back to you with a quote.


Choose from dozens of ready-to-print program notes and synopses which you can download instantly as a digital file, including a license to reproduce the notes in programs and on your website.*

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Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3


603 words
note by Chris Myers

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Fidelio/Leonore received a new overture each time it was revived during Beethoven’s lifetime. The 1805 premiere opened with what has come to be known as Leonore Overture No. 2. For the 1806 production, he revised this piece into Leonore Overture No. 3. This version is a grand symphonic work reflecting the dramatic arc of the opera. While generally considered to be the most musically satisfying of the four overtures, it doesn’t work dramatically in the opera house; the piece’s strong dramatic structure simultaneously gives away too much of the plot and overwhelms the rather light opening of the first scene.
Beethoven revisited the overture for an aborted 1808 production in Prague. This version, discovered after his death and initially mistaken for his first attempt, is known as Leonore Overture No. 1. Finally Beethoven recognized the dramaturgical challenges his overtures presented and wrote a completely new work for the 1814 revival. Though musically less impressive than the previous Leonore overtures, this piece, known as the Fidelio Overture, is more effective at setting the tone for the first scene of the show.

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