NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Reservations are now being accepted for the Fall Gala sponsored by Amore! Opera Lovers of East Texas from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at the home of Deborah and William Fajardo. Musical entertainment for the gala will be provided by SFA vocal students.

Special guest for the evening will be the internationally celebrated soprano Evelyn Lear, explained Scott LaGraff, assistant professor of voice at Stephen F. Austin State University and founder of Amore! "Ms. Lear will be in town, giving master classes to our SFA vocal students, and she has graciously agreed to attend our Fall Gala, where she will present a retrospective on her life and career."

One of the Metropolitan Opera's leading ladies from the 1960s to 1980s, Lear has sung more than 40 operatic roles in the great opera houses of the world and appeared as a star with virtually every major opera company in the United States and Europe.

"Ms. Lear's presence at the annual gala will be a wonderful addition to an evening that all of our members enjoy," said LaGraff.

Amore! was founded in 2005 with the purpose of supporting the opera program at SFA. The membership dues are used to augment the budget for SFA's annual opera production and to attract high quality singers and students.

"Part of our mission is to increase awareness of and appreciation for opera in East Texas," LaGraff explained. "Each year we add new members who used to think they didn't like opera. However, when they attend one of our events, they are pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the music and the talent of our singers, and they become instant fans."

Attendance at the Fall Gala is open only to Amore! members, but dues can be paid at the time reservations are made. Membership levels begin at $25 for students and seniors and go upwards to $5,000. Members are also eligible to sit in on one of Ms. Lear's master classes on Friday, Oct. 30, or Saturday, Oct. 31.

Anyone interested in attending the gala or needing more information about Amore! can contact LaGraff via e-mail at or by calling (936) 468-4206.

The Fall Gala reservation deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 27. Space is limited to the first 100 people.