Although Beethoven pursued many plans for an opera, he only finished a single one. Of this opera, there are two versions and four overtures.
Incidental music was played at the beginning or end of a theatre play. Such compositions were used to emphasise drama, graphic quality and character drawing of the play. Many of the plays associated with Beethoven's incidental music pieces were written for a particular purpose, for example, the opening of a theatre or the victory over Napoleon. Today, only Goethe's Egmont is still performed, however, without Beethoven's music. Instead, single compositions taken from these incidental music pieces are presented in concert halls.