Born in Avalon, Catalina Island, Small completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA before earning a master’s degree at Otis Institute. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 22, he soon became a serious student of Iyengar Yoga, and went on to study with the discipline’s founder, B.K.S. Iyengar, in Pune, India. Small frequently travels throughout the United States conducting therapeutic yoga workshops and seminars. Through his Stress Control Systems Trust, based in Montecito, he creates programs specifically for clients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. He was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Small currently serves on the Board of Directors for USC, the Doheny Eye Institute, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
“Opera Santa Barbara is extremely fortunate to have Eric Small join our Board,” says Chair Nancy Golden. “His service on the Los Angeles Opera Board, as well as his keen interest in educating the next generation of opera singers, will be very useful as we plot our company’s path forward.”
Founded in 1994 by Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett, Opera Santa Barbara is committed to presenting productions and educational programs of the highest quality. Over more than two decades the company has staged more than 50 operas and devoted thousands of hours to community outreach. The organization remains dedicated to the core passions that animated its founding: celebrating and championing the breadth and beauty of opera, and contributing to the cultural enrichment of the Santa Barbara community.