curtain raiser - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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/ˈkɜː(r)t(ə)n ˌreɪzə(r)/
singularcurtain raiser
pluralcurtain raisers
  1. a short performance that is put on before a more important one
    1. a.
      an event, especially a sports match, that happens before a more important one, or an event that is the first in a series