Guidance for classical music opera editing

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did some editing on the following release:
did some reading on the classical music guide and would like some advice how to edit the opera and meet musicbrainz styles / guides (standards that are likely there for good reasons!)

track name: it contains the release name and work number. suggestion: remove the opera work name and make the track name shorter (aka rename “Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Ouvertüre” to “Ouvertüre”. however when i do this i do not see the change reflected. I would like to shorten the track name where possible (makes it easier to see when i play the song)

character / roles / track names: i know all the singers / their roles. i currently used relations on the release level to indicate them and used “credited as” to indicate the role name (aka for example: “soprano vocals [Blonde]:Kathleen Battle”.
is the role name (“blonde”) something that can be entered as tag or is the only place where i can add that in the title name ?
Instead of using the album artist name doesn t make more sense to use only the vocals / performer tag only ?

any other suggestions ?


According to Classical Style Guide you shouldn’t do that but include full work name as part of track titles. There’s many good reason to keep doing this. Recording titles are created when new release is added and if we would keep using shorter versions we would soon have tens of thousands recordings with same titles. It’s also easier to link recordings with correct works on relationship editor when system offers recording title as a default.

That’s fine and good way to store data related to roles on release level. If you like you are able to store similar relationships also on recording level but that needs little bit more work (because you often need to follow libretto to know who are performing on it).

There’s no special rules for opera editing. Everything on classical style guideline applies also to opera releases. You should keep track & recording titles as on releases so if release tracklist doesn’t include role names don’t add them. If title doesn’t include opus number don’t add it. If title doesn’t mention it’s an aria don’t mention about it. Never add anything extra to titles.


thanks for the quick reply!
good to read i am on track with the roles.
but still not so easy to find a good / friendly way for the track names.
Most opera booklets that are part of the cd usually mention the aria name and the character singing it.
I consider the track names a bit long for my audio players. During tagging my music with picard: can i do a trick to shorten the track automatically or do you have another suggestion for this ?


In Picard (I’m assuming you have the latest 1.4 release) go to Options > Scripting, then paste the following


This will convert

Pagliacci: Act I. “Qual fiamma avea nel guardo!… Stridono lassù”


Act I. “Qual fiamma avea nel guardo!… Stridono lassù”

Or if you preffer, paste


Instead of the first one, and then the title will become

“Qual fiamma avea nel guardo!… Stridono lassù”

This (both of them) will only work properly if the titles are in the format suggested in you can quickly deactivate all scripts or just specific ones in the options, be sure to deactivate this before any non‐opera tagging.