AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —Metropolitan Opera performer Hugo Vera will headline a fundraising gala for West Texas A&M University Opera.

Vera, a tenor who was born in El Paso, will perform alongside WT Opera students and School of Music faculty following a cocktail hour and dinner.

The gala will begin at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the WT campus in Canyon.

Individual tickets are $100. Tables of eight are available for $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000.

Vera also will give a masterclass for WT Opera students.

“We are beyond thrilled that Hugo will join us for our first-ever WT Opera Gala,” said Sarah Beckham-Turner, assistant professor of music and WT Opera director. “We wanted an artist from Texas who had extensive operatic experience and someone who has a passion for working with the next generation of opera professionals. Hugo fit the bill perfectly. This gala is all about supporting our students and giving them the opportunity to realize their dreams.”

Vera is described as possessing a “truly heroic voice” that is both “beautiful and brilliant.” Vera has performed dozens of roles and choral orchestral works with distinguished companies in the U.S. In addition to The Metropolitan Opera, Vera has sung with Spoleto Festival USA, Kansas City Symphony, New York City Opera, Illinois Symphony and Chorus, Fort St. Symphony and Chorus, Opera Memphis, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Sarasota Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera North, Aspen Opera Theatre, The Minnesota Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Nashville Opera, Shreveport Opera and Tanglewood Music Festival.

He earned a bachelor of music from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a master of music and doctorate of musical arts from the University of Kansas.

Student performers are slated to include McKenna Cooper, a junior music therapy and vocal performance major from Midlothian; Francesco DiLello, a graduate student in vocal performance from Highland Mills, New York; Sarah Estes, a freshman music education and vocal performance major from Turpin, Oklahoma; Grace Gaertner, a senior music education major from Whitehouse; Kelton Harbison, a freshman music education major from Canyon; Caisey Hardy-Fowler, a senior music major from Findlay, Ohio; Erin Hinds, a junior music education and vocal performance major from Amarillo; Abigail Hite, a junior music education and instrumental performance major from Nashville; Brooklynn King, a junior music major from Pearland; Taylor Lindley, a graduate student in vocal performance from Pampa; Elizabeth Mendoza, a senior music education major from Amarillo; Joshua Moreno, a sophomore music education major from Canyon; Marlee Ramirez, a freshman music education and vocal performance major from Canyon; Sauncy Reddick, a senior music education major from Beaver, Oklahoma; Chloe Ridolfo, a graduate student in vocal performance from Los Angeles; and Justin Williamson, a graduate student in vocal performance from Amarillo.

WT faculty members on the program will include Beckham-Turner, Shannon Burr and Mila Abbasova. Also performing is Brent Reilly Turner, an award-winning tenor and husband of Beckham-Turner. For tickets, call 806-651-2840, email opera@wtamu.edu or visit wtamu.edu/wt-opera. RSVP deadline is Jan. 23. Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $115 million.

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.