Style Guide for Vocal Recital Programs

This guide is intended as a resource to assist students in the preparation and submission of appropriate information for recital programs.

When compiling the written information, it is important to keep in mind that an accurate and appropriately detailed program enhances the listening experience for the audience. The program provides the listener not only with the name of the work and the composer, but also other important points of reference, including information that places a work in its particular time period and within a composer’s own body of works. The program also provides documentation of your work, something that will prove valuable in future endeavors such as graduate school applications or other auditions.

The following guidelines and examples represent a variety of genres and show the required format for capitalization, use of italics, punctuation, and abbreviations.

IMPORTANT: Please submit your material using Times font, point size 12.



  • Individual songs are in Roman face type (not italics or quotes). 
  • Keys and opus numbers are typically not included in individual song titles.
  • Opus number and name of the larger work from which the song comes are used if performing more than one song from a collection. 
  • Titles of song cycles use italics.  The cycle title should be listed first, and the names of the individual songs should be indented and listed underneath. If performing selections from a song cycle, indicate that by stating “from” before the song cycle title.
  • Verify the use of capital and lowercase words with what is marked in the score or what is traditional for the poetic title. Some (not all) English-language titles use capitalization on every word of a title, whereas some foreign-language titles use a variety of capital and lowercase words. 
  • Include accents and umlauts where appropriate.
  • The name of the poet may be included in parentheses after the song title.


  • Arias from operas, oratorios, and cantatas use Roman face type and quotation marks. 
  • Do not capitalize every word of the title in quotations—rather, it should read like a sentence. However, there are exceptions (oratorio, in particular). Refer to the score for accuracy.
  • Titles of operas, oratorios, and cantatas are normally in italics, and should be listed under the aria title, indented, with the word “from” in front of them.
  • If performing an aria with a recitative, the recitative title should be separated from the aria title with an ellipses ( . . . ). Include a space on each side of the ellipsis.

Musical Theater

  • Selections from musicals use Roman face type.
  • Generally, musical theater song titles use capitals in every word of the title. 
  • Titles of musicals are normally in italics, and should be listed under the song title, indented, with the word “from” in front of them.



Stand-alone song titles:

Mandoline (Verlaine) Gabriel Fauré
Von ewiger Liebe  Johannes Brahms
When I Have Sung My Songs Ernest Charles
Già il sole dal Gange  Alessandro Scarlatti
L'invitation au Voyage Henri Duparc


Two or more songs not from a cycle (same composer):

La Sirène
Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe
Ouvre ton Coeur
Georges Bizet


Two or more songs not from a cycle (different composers):

La lune blanche Gabriel Fauré
L'heure exquise Reynaldo Hahn
Extase Henri Duparc


Two or more songs from a cycle:

From Dichterliebe, Opus 48

Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
Ich will meine Seele tauchen
Iche grolle nicht
Aus alten Märchen winkt es

Robert Schumann


An entire cycle:

Despite and still

A last song
My lizard
In the wilderness
Solitary hotel
Despite and still

Samuel Barber

Drei Lieder der Ophelia

I.  Wie erkenn’ ich dein Treulieb
II.  Guten Morgen S’ist sankt Valentinstag
III.  Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss Leider

Richard Strauss



Arias from cantatas, oratorios and operas:

“Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo”
     from Magnificat, BWV 243a
Johann Sebastian Bach
“Casta diva”
     from Norma
Vincenzo Bellini
“Rejoice greatly, o Daughter of Zion”
     from Messiah
George Frideric Handel
“Che gelida manina”
     from La Bohème
Giacomo Puccini


More than one aria from a single opera:

From Falstaff
“L’onore! Ladri!”
     “Tutto nel mondo è burla”
Giuseppe Verdi


Aria with a recitative:

“Giunse alfin il momento . . . Deh vieni, non tardar”
     from Le Nozze di Figaro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Musical Theater

A Boy Like That
     from West Side Story
Leonard Bernstein
Giants In The Sky
     from Into the Woods
Stephen Sondheim
b. 1930



Use full names for composers and list applicable birth and death dates in

parentheses under name. To separate the birth year from the death year use an en dash, which is roughly the width of a capital “N,” slightly longer than a hyphen and shorter than an em dash. Do not include spaces before or after the en dash. On a Macintosh computer, create using “Option” plus “dash”; on a PC create using <Alt> plus the numbers 0150 on the right-side number pad.

For living composers, omit parentheses and indicate birth year with a “b.”.


Johann Sebastian Bach

John Corigliano
          b. 1938


If a work has been adapted, arranged, or transcribed, include both the name and dates of the composer and the adapter/arranger/transcriber.

Allegro Joseph Hector Fiocco
trans. by Sigurd Rascher
From Old American Songs
Long Time Ago
     Simple Gifts
adapted by Aaron Copland



List performers’ names with soloist first, followed by instrument, typed in lowercase letters. If a Puget Sound student, include graduation year following the name.

John Smith ’12, tenor
Mary Adams ’13, flute
Van Cliburn, piano



Performer’s bio should include name of current Puget Sound applied music instructor, a listing of other performing groups you participate in on or off campus, and additional musical experiences as a university student (study abroad, summer music programs, internships). Maximum of 100 words.



Include full name, year of graduation if a Puget Sound student or alumna/us, instructor’s name, and major.


Rebecca Doe ’11, student of Luciano Pavarotti, is majoring in vocal performance.



If the accompanist is the staff accompanist there is no need to include information—their information is on file in the Office of Public Events.

For student accompanist, include full name, year of graduation if a Puget Sound student or alumna/us, instructor’s name, and major.


Jerry Doe ’12,student of Van Cliburn, is majoring in music.


For other professional accompanists, include full name and a few brief sentences regarding degree and experience.


Warren Jones received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from New England Conservatory of Music. He has recently been named as "Collaborative Pianist of the Year" for 2010 by the publication Musical America. He performs with many of today’s best-known artists, including Stephanie Blythe, Denyce Graves, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Anthony Dean Griffey, Ruth Ann Swenson, Bo Skovhus, Samuel Ramey, and James Morris—and is principal pianist for the California-based chamber music group Camerata Pacifica.



Maximum of 100 words



Program notes are combined with the summary or translation of the song/aria and

should include the first citing of the composer and the name of the song or aria in bold print. Notes for songs may include a paraphrase with three or four sentences summarizing the idea and atmosphere of the poem. (Examples of this may be found in Singer’s Repertoire, Part V: Program Notes for the Singer’s Repertoire by Berton Coffin and Werner Singer from Scarecrow Press Inc.). IMPORTANT: Program notes should be original compositions. The information should be researched via several sources, often offering the same information, but the wording and syntax must be unique—DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. The performer will be credited in the program for compiling the notes.   

For arias from operas, cite the act and scene from which the aria comes and summarize the action that takes place before and after, including any pertinent storyline information, as well as a summary of the aria translation. Year of composition and time and place of opera’s premiere can also be included. Arias from oratorios may be similarly summarized. For cantatas, a translation of sacred text is normally used.

Translations of poetry should be single spaced (double spaced between stanzas). Maintain the visual form of the poetic stanzas as much as possible for both the original texts and translations. English texts should be included in programs. Cite the title of the poem (in the original language and in the translation), and, if applicable, the collection from which the poem comes, the name and dates of the author, and the name of the translator. 


Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) was one of the brilliant triumvirate (Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini) who were primarily responsible for the development of Italian opera in the first half of the 19th century. Donizetti was quite prolific, composing 67 operas, but only a handful have remained in the modern repertoire. La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment)was first performed by the Opéra Comique in Paris, in 1840. The action takes place in the Swiss Tyrol during the Napoleonic wars.

“Chacun le sait” takes place in Act I of the opera. After inducting a young Tyrolese peasant into their regiment, the grenadiers from the 21st French Regiment call on Marie to sing the invigorating song of the regiment.

“Chacun le sait”
      from La Fille du Regiment
Libretto by Jean Francois Bayard
and J.H. Vernoyde Saint-Georges
“All know”

Chacun le sait, chacun le dit,
Le regiment par excellence.
Le seul a qui l'on fass' credit
Dans tous les cabarets de France.
Le regiment, en tous pays,
L'effroi des amants des maris,
Mais de la beaute bien supreme!

Il est la, morbleu!
Le voila, corbleu!
Il est la, il est la, le voila,
Le beau Vingt unieme!

Il a gagne tant de combats,
Que notre empereur on le pense,
Fera chacun de ses soldats,
A la paix, marechal de France!
Car, c'est connu, le regiment,
Le plus vain queur, le plus charmant,
Qu'un sexe craint, et que l'autr aime!

All know, all say,
The regiment above all.
The only one to whom credit is given
In all the cabarets of France.
The regiment in all the land,
The terror in love and in war,
But of beauty most supreme!

They are there, by the devil!
There they are, by Jove!
They are there, there they are,
The smart 21st!

They so completely win their battles,
That our emperor, one would think,
They will all be, who are now soldiers,
At peacetime, Marshalls of France!
For, it's known, the regiment,
The most victorious, the most charming,
That one sex fears, and the other loves!