The flourishing genre of the comic opera had it's roots in 18th c. Italian opera buffa, whose irrepressible brio was soon taken up outside the country's borders. In France it produced opera comique and operetta, and in German-speaking countries Spieloper and Viennese operetta. Some of the world's most popular comic opera overtures, filled with gorgeous tunes, brilliant orchestration and race-to-the-finish endings, are presented here. They include staples of the concert repertoire such as Herold's dramatic Zampa, the textual delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid color of Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann. The American Conductor, Boston University graduate and multi-first prize competition winner Lance Friedel, here conducting the RNSO, currently enjoys an active career in Europe and the US.