Mexican-American soprano Barbara Padilla, best known as the runner-up in the fourth season of the TV reality series "America's Got Talent," says she is looking to spark wider interest in classical music through her operatic versions of pop songs.

The 40-year-old singer told Efe her debut album features "classically arranged popular songs and I sing them with operatic technique; but we combine the pop world with the classical world and it's called 'classical crossover' or 'classical crossover in Spanish.'"

"It's a relatively new genre that's sometimes called 'popera,'" Padilla, a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma, said.

"Barbara Padilla," which contains 10 songs, was recorded at the Moon Moosic studios in Los Angeles and will be available beginning May 27 on iTunes and Amazon and also be sold through the artist's Web site.

A video of one song off the new album, "Tu Sei," can already be viewed on YouTube and also is available for download on iTunes.

Classical music in the form of pop opera "is something much more accessible for everyone. It's very beautiful music that also touches the heart," Padilla said.

"And it's music that people can recognize more easily, so it's not just opera devotees who can enjoy it. I think we're going to reach more people that way," the Guadalajara, Mexico, native added.

The singer recalled that she began working as a music teacher after recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma but her mother encouraged her to become a recording artist.

"'You have the wings of an eagle! Do you want to fly like a hen?' Those were my mom's words," Padilla told Efe. EFE