The current reigning Miss Music City and hit pop star, Cassandra Pinataro, recently dropped her latest single, "Queen of Every Night" - a mesmerizing journey into the realm of "popera," seamlessly blending classical crossover with contemporary pop vibes.
Reminiscent of chart-toppers Ava Max, Ariana Grande and JoJo, this track not only marks Cassandra's evolution as an artist, but also solidifies her status as the "Queen of Popera."
From the very first note, "Queen of Every Night" captures listeners with its infectious beats and catchy melody. Cassandra's vocal prowess shines through, reminiscent of the power and grace exhibited by the genre's leading ladies. Her ability to effortlessly transition between the structured and poised elements of the classical genre and the fun and quirky facets of pop music showcases a level of versatility that is truly impressive. The marriage of soaring operatic vocals with contemporary pop beats creates a sonic landscape that is both grandiose and accessible.
The catchy tune of "Queen of Every Night" is a testament to Cassandra's songwriting skills, as well as the production mastery behind the scenes. The song's hooks are memorable, but have an undeniable staying power, ensuring that the melody lingers in the listener's mind long after the song has concluded. It's the kind of track that plays on a loop in your head and you can't help but hum along! The lyrics, combined with the dynamic arrangement, create a sense of empowerment and majesty. "Queen of Every Night" is a song that resonates not just with the ears but also with the heart, making it a standout in today's music landscape.
"Research has shown that Gen Z listens to significantly less classical music than older generations," Cassandra explains. "In a world where pop music has been booming and the classical world seems to be ever-fading, a change was necessary. Popera has the ability to change the music world as we know it!"
In addition to releasing new music, Cassandra is currently singing with the Nashville Opera as a soprano ensemble member in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute." She is also a lead soprano in Nashville Opera’s Opera on Wheels program.
Cassandra is quickly proving that "popera" is not just a niche, but a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Get ready to be enchanted by the Queen of Popera and let "Queen of Every Night" reign supreme on your playlist.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down and have a lovely chat with Cassandra about her future goals, her musical influences, how she navigates negative stereotypes and more.
Your journey involves a diverse range of talents, from being crowned Miss Music City to performing opera. How do these different facets contribute to your identity as a pop artist?
I do believe that every part of my life contributes to my artistry. Competing in pageants was a fun way for me to share my art and, as a part of my community involvement, I was able to learn more about my audience as I performed in schools and at festivals in the cities where I was crowned.
Opera has really shaped my musical self. Through singing opera, I’ve found myself having an understanding of vocal technique that allows me to express myself and hit notes and vocal nuances that I may not have been able to do otherwise- or at least not healthily. Opera is also theatrical and dramatic and I’ve found those elements have really influenced my work, especially as I create this new genre I like to call “Popera”. I’m genre bending and blending by taking famous opera arias and sampling them into pop tracks and writing a pop song over the top of that track. Ideally, every song will either have a thematic parallel to the original aria in a modern pop setting, or will be a play on words with the title of the aria or character singing the aria. Without studying and singing opera, I never would have envisioned this fusion.
Opera is known for its classical and theatrical elements. How did you incorporate your operatic background into your new pop single “Queen of Every Night”?
I took the most famous section of “Der Holle Rache” and sang it into the microphone, changing the motive just a little bit, and let that be the intro and a background vocal that comes back several times throughout the piece. The lead vocal in the chorus of the song is meant to be a nudge toward the B section of this aria as well. I also created background vocal harmonies and movements in an operatic vocal style to complement the song. I figured that if vocal stacks can work in pop songs, there’s no reason a dramatic version of that shouldn’t work!
We also used Pachelbel’s Cannon in D for the bridge of the song and the background vocals are covered in operatic vocal lines and staccato vocal attacks in the background. At the end of the bridge, you’ll hear a stylistic element that really feeds off of my operatic studies. As a coloratura soprano, I have the luxury of getting to singing into my whistle register and sound like a siren. As the bridge exits and the final chorus enters, you’ll hear a siren sound— yes that is me!
You recently received your Master’s degree - congratulations! How does your academic background impact your songwriting process or the lyrical themes you incorporate?
Thank you! I’m so happy and proud to be a graduate of Berklee College of Music’s Masters of Arts in Music Business program. Since I was studying music business, we didn’t focus too much on sound and lyrics, but it did remind me that most traditional opera music is in the public domain so I can create freely with my Popera! Thank you to my music law class for that one!
Many artists have a specific message or cause they advocate for. Are there particular issues that you feel passionate about conveying through your music?
I advocate for self love, healthy relationships, and authenticity. I’m also an advocate for the classical arts. I think this latest project can showcase how I want to encourage people to be fearlessly authentic. It’s really scary creating a new genre or blending these two VERY different things about myself but that’s just it- it’s two very different things about MYSELF. If I didn’t live that truth, I wouldn’t be living my most authentic life. As for self love, I love sharing “Queen of Every Night” with people because there’s no reason you should feel your absolute best, or rather like a Queen, every day!
Collaborations can be transformative. Are there artists, whether from the pop, opera, Broadway or other genres, that you dream of collaborating with, and why?
I would love to collaborate with The Scarlett Opera, Lizzo, and Lady Gaga. Vocally and artistically, Gaga has always been an influence for me and I think she would help Popera reach new heights. I do think Lizzo could put an absolutely fabulous flute solo on this project! Classical music needs a movement back into the mainstream! As for The Scarlett Opera, the name of their group speaks for itself in why I’d love for the to be a part of Popera. While they’re not singing in an operatic vocal style, the sound, vocal register, and theatrical elements of their act would blend beautifully with that I’m trying to do. I’d love to collab or even open for their tour!
How do you navigate the expectations and/or stereotypes that may come with being a beauty pageant winner while pursuing a career in the music industry? Are there downsides or has your experience been mostly positive?
I’ve had a mix of positive and negative feedback. Some people know that competing takes courage and drive and hard work and respect that. I love conversations with adults and children who see what I’m doing and understand that it’s meant to inspire and do good in the world. However, some people see the blonde and the shiny crown and the pageant walk and think anyone who competes in a pageant is full of themselves or fake or uneducated. It’s completely false and honestly unfair as an assumption. I can’t speak for every pageant girl, but if I’m someone who is grateful for everything she has, who is highly educated with published medical research by age 19, who runs her own business, and who genuinely wants to see others find happy and healthy lives, I know other girls are like that too! And maybe that sounds too confident for some people, but you have to be pretty confident to step on that stage - and that’s a good thing!
Your journey is an inspiration to many aspiring artists. What advice do you have for individuals who are looking to explore multiple talents and break into different artistic realms?
Find your team. It took me a while to find people who were willing to dive down this path with me. You need a team that will support your ideas, validate your decisions, and push your artistic boundaries. Don’t think you have to do this alone. Support helps so much and having other perspectives on a project can help things go even better.