Recital: Cassandra Rita Pinataro '22, Soprano

NEC: Burnes Hall | Directions

255 St. Botolph St.
Boston, MA
United States

NEC's students meet one-on-one each week with a faculty artist to perfect their craft. As each one leaves NEC to make their mark in the performance world, they present a full, professional recital that is free and open to the public. It's your first look at the artists of tomorrow.

Cassandra Rita Pinataro '22 studies Voice with Lisa Saffer.

This performance is open to in-person audiences, and can also be viewed via livestream.

Watch Livestream from Burnes Hall

  • Cassandra Rita Pinataro '22, soprano
  • Marie-Elise Boyer, piano, harpsichord
  • Lisa Saffer, studio teacher
  1. Libby Larsen | Three Cowboy Songs

    The Bucking Bronco
    Lift Me Into Heaven Slowly

    Billy the Kid



    The Bucking Bronco

    My true love is a rider

    Wild broncos he breaks
    Though he promised to quit for my sake
    It’s one foot in the stirrup
    And the saddle put on
    With a swing and a jump
    He is mounted and gone

    The first time I met him
    It was early one spring
    A riding a bronco, a high headed thing
    The next time I saw him
    ’Twas late in the fall
    A swinging the girls at Tomlinson’s ball

    He gave me some presents
    Among them a ring
    The return that I gave him was a far better thing
    A young maiden’s heart
    I’d have you all know
    That he won it by riding his bucking bronco

    Now all young maidens
    Where’er you reside
    Beware of the cowboy who swings raw hide
    He’ll court you and pet you
    And leave you to go
    In the spring up the trail
    On his bucking bronco

    Belle Starr

    Lift Me into Heaven Slowly

    Lift me into heaven slowly
    ‘Cause my back’s sore
    And my mind’s thoughtful
    And I’m not even sure I want to go

    Robert Creeley

    Billy the Kid

    Billy was a bad man
    Carried a big gun
    He was always after good folks
    And he kept them on the run
    He shot on ev’ry morning
    To make his morning meal
    Let a man sass him
    He was sure to feel his steel
    He kept folks in hot water
    Stole from ev’ry stage
    When he was full of liquor
    He was always in a rage
    He kept things boilin’ over
    He stayed out in the brush
    When he was full of dead eye
    Other folks’ld better hush
    Billy was a bad man
    But one day he met a man a whole lot badder
    And now he’s dead
    And we ain’t none the sadder


  2. Vincenzo di Chiara | La Spagnola


    La Spagnola

    Di Spagna sono la bella,

    Regina son dell'amor!
    Tutti mi dicono stella,
    Stella di vivo splendor.

    Stretti, stretti
    Nell'estasi d'amor!
    La spagnola sa amar così,
    Bocca e bocca la notte e il dì.

    Amo con tutto l'ardore
    A chi è sincero con me…
    Degli anni miei il vigore
    Gli fo ben presto veder.

    Stretti, stretti
    Nell'estasi d'amor!
    La spagnola sa amar così,
    Bocca e bocca la notte e il dì.

    Sguardi che mandan saette,
    Movenze di voluttà!
    Le labbra son tumidette,
    Fo il Paradiso toccar!

    Stretti, stretti
    Nell'estasi d'amor!
    La spagnola sa amar così,
    Bocca e bocca la notte e il dì.

    Vincenzo Di Chiara

    The Spanish Woman

    I’m the beauty of Spain,
    I’m the queen of love!
    Everybody calls me star,
    Bright light star.

    In a tight embrace
    In the ecstasy of love!
    The Spanish woman can love this way,
    Kissing without ending, day and night.

    I love with all my passion
    The one who is honest with me…
    The vigor of my youth
    I show it to him.

    In a tight embrace
    In the ecstasy of love!
    The Spanish woman can love this way,

    Kissing without ending, day and night.

    Looks that strike like a lightning,
    Sensual movements!
    Passionate lips,
    I can make you touch the Paradise!

    In a tight embrace
    In the ecstasy of love!
    The Spanish woman can love this way,
    Kissing without ending, day and night.

    English Translation © Natalia Chernega

  3. Giacomo Puccini | Sole e Amore



    Sole e amore

    Il sole allegramente
    Batte ai tuoi vetri. Amor
    Pian batte al tuo cuore,
    E l'uno e l'altro chiama.
    Il sole dice: O dormente,
    Mostrati che sei bella.
    Dice l'amor: Sorella,
    Col tuo primo pensier pensa a chi t'ama!


    Sun and Love

    The sun cheerfully
    Beats at your window. Love
    Softly beats at your heart,
    And both of them call out.
    The sun says: O sleeping one,
    Show yourself for you are beautiful.
    Love says: Sister,
    With your first thought think of the one who loves you!

    English Translation © Jennifer Rushworth

    Text and translation provided courtesy of
    Oxford Lieder (


  4. Gioacchino Rossini | La Pastorella delle Alpi



    La Pastorella delle Alpi

    Son bella pastorella
    Che scende ogni mattino
    Ed offre un cestellino
    Di fresche frutta e fior

    Chi viene al primo albore
    Avrà vezzose rose
    E poma rugiadose
    Venite al mio giardin.

    Ahu! A! Ahu!

    Chi net notturno orrore
    Smarrì la buona via
    Alla capanna mia
    Ritroverà il cammin

    Venite o passeggiero
    La pastorella è qua
    Ma il fior del suo pensiero
    Ad uno sol darà

    Ahu! A! Ahu!

    Count Carlo Pepoli


    The Shepherdess of the Alps

    I am the pretty shepherdess,
    Who comes down every morning,
    Offering a little basket
    Of fresh fruit and flowers.

    Those who come at first light
    Will find delightful roses
    And apples damp with dew,

    Come all to my garden.

    Ahu! A! Ahu!

    Those who lost their way       
    In the horror of the night,
    Will find their path once more
    At my little cabin.

    Come, oh passing traveller,
    The shepherdess is here,
    Yet the flower of her thoughts
    She will give to one and one alone!

    Ahu! A! Ahu!

    English Translation © Nicholas Cornforth
    Text and translation provided courtesy of
    Oxford Lieder (

  5. Hugo Wolf | from Goethe-Lieder

    Hugo Wolf’s Goethe-Lieder is a series of 51 songs set to Goethe’s poetry.

    No. 26: Die Spröde
    No. 27: Die Bekehrte
    No. 50: Ganymed



    Die Spröde

    An dem reinsten Frühlingsmorgen

    Ging die Schäferin und sang,
    Jung und schön und ohne Sorgen,
    Daß es durch die Felder klang,
    So la la! le ralla!

    Thyrsis bot ihr für ein Mäulchen
    Zwei, drei Schäfchen gleich am Ort,
    Schalkhaft blickte sie ein Weilchen;
    Doch sie sang und lachte fort,
    So la la! le ralla!

    Und ein andrer bot ihr Bänder,
    Und der dritte bot sein Herz;
    Doch sie trieb mit Herz und Bändern
    So wie mit den Lämmern Scherz,

    Nur la la! le ralla!

    Die Bekehrte

    Bei dem Glanz der Abendröte
    Ging ich still den Wald entlang,
    Damon saß und blies die Flöte,
    Daß es von den Felsen klang,
    So la la!

    Und er zog mich zu sich nieder,
    Küßte mich so hold, so süß.
    Und ich sagte: „Blase wieder!“
    Und der gute Junge blies,
    So la la!

    Meine Ruh’ ist nun verloren,
    Meine Freude floh davon,
    Und ich hör’ vor meinen Ohren
    Immer nur den alten Ton,
    So la la, le ralla!


    Wie im Morgenglanze
    Du rings mich anglühst,
    Frühling, Geliebter!
    Mit tausendfacher Liebeswonne
    Sich an mein Herz drängt
    Deiner ewigen Wärme
    Heilig Gefühl,
    Unendliche Schöne!
    Dass ich dich fassen möcht’
    In diesen Arm!

    Ach, an deinem Busen
    Lieg’ ich, schmachte,
    Und deine Blumen, dein Gras
    Drängen sich an mein Herz.
    Du kühlst den brennenden
    Durst meines Busens,
    Lieblicher Morgenwind!
    Ruft drein die Nachtigall
    Liebend mach mir aus dem Nebeltal.
    Ich komm’, ich komme! 

    Wohin? Ach wohin?

    Hinauf! Hinauf strebt’s.
    Es schweben die Wolken
    Abwärts, die Wolken
    Neigen sich der sehnenden Liebe.
    Mir! Mir!
    In euerm Schosse
    Umfangend umfangen!
    Aufwärts an deinen Busen,
    Alliebender Vater!

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



    On the clearest of spring mornings

    The shepherdess went out and sang,
    Carefree, young and beautiful,
    Till it echoed through the fields,
    So la la! le ralla!

    Thyrsis offered her for a kiss
    Two, three lambs without delay,
    She looked on archly for a while;
    But went laughing and singing on her way,
    So la la! le ralla!

    And another offered ribbons,
    And a third bid his heart;
    But she made fun of heart and ribbons,
    As she had done with the lambs,

    Only la la! le ralla!


    In the red glow of sunset
    I wandered quietly through the wood,
    Damon sat and played his flute,
    Making the rocks resound,
    So la la!

    And he drew me down to him,
    Kissed me so gently, so sweetly.
    And I said: ‘Play once more!’
    And the good lad played,
    So la la!

    Now my peace is lost,
    My joy has flown away,
    And ringing in my ears I hear
    Nothing but the old refrain,
    So la la, le ralla!

    Translations © Richard Stokes, author of
    The Book of Lieder, published by Faber,
    provided courtesy of Oxford Lieder


    How your glow envelops me
    in the morning radiance,
    spring, my beloved!
    With love’s thousandfold joy
    the hallowed sensation
    of your eternal warmth
    floods my heart,
    infinite beauty!
    O that I might clasp you
    in my arms!

    Ah, on your breast
    I lie languishing,
    and your flowers, your grass
    press close to my heart.
    You cool the burning
    thirst within my breast,
    sweet morning breeze,
    as the nightingale calls
    tenderly to me from the misty valley.
    I come, I come!
    But whither? Ah, whither?

    Upwards! Strive upwards!
    The clouds drift
    down, yielding
    to yearning love,
    to me, to me!

    In your lap,
    embracing and embraced!
    Upwards to your bosom,
    all-loving Father!

    Translation by Richard Wigmore first published
    by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion

    Schubert SongEdition.  Richard Wigmore is the
    author of
    Schubert: The Complete Song Texts,
    published by Schirmer Books, provided courtesy of

    Oxford Lieder (

  6. Jean-Philippe Rameau | “Aux langeurs d’Apollon”, Arie de la Folie from Platée

    Rameau created a revolutionary work of comic Baroque opera with Platée. In this aria, La Folie, who embodies madness, tells of Jupiter, who falls for a hideous marsh nymph called Platée. La Folie presents this aria as a kind of party piece commenting on Jupiter and Platée satirically. This work went on to be one of the greatest successes in Baroque opera as it points to the foibles of love for humans and gods alike.


    Aux langeurs d’Apollon,
    Arie de la folie (Platée)

    Formons les plus brillant concerts;

    Quand Jupiter porte les fers
    De l’incomparable Platée,
    Je veux que les tra.nsports de son âme enchantée
    S’expriment par mes chants divers.
    Essayons du brilliant

    Donnons dans la saillie!

    Aux langueurs d’Apollon Daphné se refusa: Ah!
    L’amour sur son tombeau
    Eteignit son flambeau

    La métamorphosa

    C’est ainsi que l’Amour de tout temps s’est vengé
    Que l’amour est cruel
    Quand il est outragé.

    Jacques Autreau

    Apollo is taken with love
    Aria of Madness from Platée

    Let us make the most brilliant music;

    When Jupiter lies in chains
    Made by the incomparable Plataea,
    It is my will that the raptures of his bewitched heart
    Be expressed in these, my diverse songs.
    Let’s try something brilliant!
    Let’s go

    Apollo is taken with love for Daphne, who refuses him:
    Love lying on her tomb
    Extinguishes the flame

    And thus transformed her.

    This is how love took its revenge.
    How cruel love is
    When it is outraged!

    Translation by Scott Horton, reprinted with permission


    I would like to extend my gratitude to my teacher and mentor,
    Lisa Saffer.
    Our time together has not only improved my musicianship and vocal technique
    more than I knew was possible, but has also created a beautiful mentorship
    that has helped me learn what it truly means to be a vocalist, artist, and woman
     in this industry. The discipline and appreciation I have learned to have for my voice
    over the past four years is fully credited to our work together.
    I am forever grateful for you and already miss the laughter that could be heard in our lessons! You help me bring out even more joy in vocalizing.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    To Marie-Elise,
     thank you so much for your guidance and friendship
    as we have worked together throughout this year.
    Working with you has helped me have a deeper understanding of collaboration,
    and I am honored to perform alongside you.
    Thank you for reminding me why I love singing and for encouraging me
    to take a breath (on stage and in life….). (:

    To my teachers,
    thank you for believing in me, helping me work around my wildly busy schedule,
    and for encouraging me to pursue every dream I have.
    In particular, I would like to extend my gratitude to Tanya Blaich, JJ Penna, Justin Williams, and Mark Zaleski.
    My smile increases tenfold every time I see each of you on campus
    as I reflect on the work we have done together
    and the many times you all have considered me for opportunities
    or reached out in support or congratulations.
    Teachers like you are the reason NEC students go on wanting to inspire others.

    To the Miss Boston Organization
    and particularly my manager, Fran Simone,
    thank you for supporting me as I work to compete for Miss Massachusetts
    and simultaneously work for this degree.
    Your encouragement and excitement around my singing
    has only made me happier about joining the world of the Miss America Organization
    and I’m so excited to see the work we do together.

    To my friends at NEC and beyond watching or streaming this concert
    and to those who could not be here tonight,
    thank you for supporting me and my goals, for the laughter, the tears,
    the excitement, and the genuine friendship.
    I never knew it was possible to be surrounded by so many kind,
    hardworking, and compassionate people.
    I am honored to know each of you.

    And to my girls, Natalie and Madeleine,
    thank you for being my rocks up here in Boston.
    The memories we have made over the past three years will be with me forever.

    And most importantly, thank you to my family.
    There is no way to describe the sacrifices and love you have shown throughout my life.
    Thank you to my parents for supporting me as an artist
    and for not batting an eye when, two years into a classical singing degree,
    I told you I wanted to start releasing pop songs.
    Thank you to my brother for always looking out for me
    and to my whole family for always helping me search for ways to improve myself and my life. Your love and care give me the energy I need to stay motivated
    and continue working for my future.
    I wish everyone could know the love I feel in my family,
     but I hope tonight’s performance shows what that kind of love can do.