Eric Smith, Artistic Director

Praised by critics for his “flawless lightness and grace”, Eric Smith has been called “the very model of an elegant cellist” (Dallas Morning News), and his performances described as "nuanced, thoughtful, and technically sound" (Theater Jones).  Eric has made himself known throughout the U.S. and abroad as a multi-faceted musician performing on cello and viola da gamba as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor.  In addition to serving as Artistic Director of the American Baroque Opera Co., Eric has collaborated with ensembles including the Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ensemble VIII, Dallas Chamber Players, Bach Society of Houston, New York’s Concert Royal, Texas Camerata, and La Follia Austin among many others.  Eric has appeared as a guest artist and recitalist at festivals including the Boston Early Music Festival, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival (CO), Strings in the Mountains Festival (CO), American Renaissance and Baroque Music Festival (Bolivia), Cervantino Festival (Mexico) and Les Nuits Baroques (France).  He has appeared in chamber concerts with the Miami String Quartet and principal players of the New York Philharmonic, and appeared at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Manhattan under the auspices of the Arnold Schoeberg family in a concert of the composer's works.   His performances have been heard on NPR and Public Radio International, and he was featured in an interview in the 125th Anniversary issue of The Strad Magazine.  Eric attended the University of North Texas studying cello under the tutelage of Eugene Osadchy and early music with lutenist Lyle Nordstrom, where he was honored as a Winspear scholar.  Eric performs on a rare cello made in 1751 by Leonhardt Maussiell in Nuremberg, Germany.

Hillary Coyle, Executive Director

Executive Director Hillary Coyle is a voice and piano teacher and arts manager.  She serves on the board of the Richardson Music Teachers Association, served as the Executive Director of the Dallas Bach Society, and volunteers at Incarnation House and the Incarnation Church Choir.  She worked in the marketing or development departments of AT&TPAC, Dallas Symphony, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Touhill PAC in St. Louis, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.  She attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia as a music major, graduating cum laude.  There she traveled with the music department to San Juan, Costa Rica, southern Spain, and London, U.K.  As a vocalist, she is thoroughly enamored to be a part of the nascent American Baroque Opera Co. as a founding director.  Hillary was born in Dallas and lives and works in Richardson, TX.



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Miguel Cantú IV, General Manager

Violist Miguel Cantu’s multi-faceted career has taken him across the U.S. performing orchestral music, chamber music, and early music on period instruments.  Miguel performs with ensembles and festivals including the Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Texas Camerata, Crested Butte Music Festival, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and is violist with Quartet Galant, a period instrument string quartet.  As a mariachi violinist, Miguel was a featured soloist with the Dallas Wind Symphony, and performs with Mariachi Quetzal, collaborating with artists such as Norah Jones, the Toadies, and Brave Combo.  Miguel attended Michigan State University and the University of North Texas, where he studied viola with renowned pedagogue Susan Dubois.

Board of Directors

Eric Smith, President

Miguel Cantu IV, Vice President

Hillary Coyle, Secretary

Karen Almond

Laura Warriner Bray

Andrew Clugston

Luke Fritz

Brian Hackfeld

Martin Reyes

Jendi Tarde


Laura Warriner Bray, Artist & Community Engagement

Laura Warriner Bray, mezzo soprano is the head of vocal studies at Collin College, where she is the founder and director of the Collin College Opera Theatre program.  Mrs. Warriner Bray is an  active performer of opera, early music, and oratorio. In the DFW metroplex, she is often heard as a soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Orchestra of New Spain, Vox Humana, the Dallas Bach Society, and New World Voices. Some of her operatic roles include the title role in Carmen, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Dritte Dame/Dritte Knabe in Die Zauberflöte, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, The Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas (covering Sorceress), Zerlina in Don Giovanni, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Die Hexe in Hansel und Gretel, Yum-Yum and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sesto in Giulio Cesare (concert) and Dorabella and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte. Some of her solo orchestral and oratorio collaborations have included appearances with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra (Mahler 4), the Richardson Symphony (Mozart Requiem), South Dakota Chorale (Durufle Requiem and Messiah), Ars Lyrica of Houston (Monteverdi Vespers and Bach Magnificat,) The Chiquitanos Baroque Festival in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Missa Zipoli et Missa Courcelle), The Cervantes Festival of Guanajuanto, Mexico, and the Thüringer Stadt Orchester in Rudodlstadt, Germany (Malika), the Dallas Chamber Orchestra (Mozart Vespres Solemnes), and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Bach Mass in B Minor). Laura can be heard on professional recordings with Orpheus Chamber Singers, South Dakota Chorale, New World Voices, Vogue Passé, the UNT a cappella choir, and the Dallas Bach Society. In her spare time, Ms. Bray is an active coach and collaborative pianist in the DFW area.



Andrew Clugston

Andrew Clugston is an Associate Vice President with Morgan Stanley. Andrew acquired his BA (Honors) from Bucknell University, and his JD from University of Melbourne, Australia. Andrew practiced as a capital markets lawyer with White & Case in London, England. He advised on over $9 billion in security offerings and programs, including the first ever Ukrainian Loan Participation Note program and a US$2.25 billion IPO for an Indian real estate company – the largest Indian public offering at that time. He currently does not provide legal advice.  An enthusiastic musician, Andrew began playing the violin at seven and undertook his formative studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He currently serves as first chair of the White’s Chapel Orchestra and as violinist with the dynamic chamber ensemble, Versa Strings. Andrew and his wife, Kara moved to Texas in 2009 and are actively engaged in the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas community where their children are learning violin and cello.

Looking to volunteer with American Baroque Opera Co.?

American Baroque Opera Company, based in Dallas, presents both familiar operas and rarely heard gems of the baroque as fully staged productions in an intimate style to educate new audiences about authentic early music performance practice. There is no organization in Texas, or the region, that currently provides the performances and emphasis that ABOC provides. Audiences new to Baroque opera will find exciting, enlightening, and timeless themes in our productions. Please consider supporting our vision in bringing exceptional art to Dallas by joining the board of directors. We need leaders to preach the gospel of baroque music to fellow arts lovers to grow our company. If you believe in our vision and want to help us increase our educational opportunities for DISD students to experience great art as well, please contact Hillary Coyle, executive director, at info@baroqueopera.org or 214.766.7150.