Diane Ryan was inspired to write Becca and the Magic Opera Glasses to introduce children to one of the most beautiful art forms, Opera. The performances draw the audience into a powerful story that unfolds on stage: the orchestra, commanding and un-amplified voices, beautiful sets, elaborate costumes, and the opera house itself. The stories are larger-than-life, the defining moments huge, the emotions present, sung and staged with grandeur.
Diane’s maternal Grandmother, Marie Moffett Thorn, emigrated from Ireland to America, and had a magnificent mezzo-soprano voice. The family valued music and was determined to instill a love of music in each generation. As a single parent, Diane’s mother sacrificed to send her to lessons every week with voice teacher, Mr. Carl Fredrickson.
At age 16, Mr. Fredrickson wanted to give Diane a full scholarship to the Conservatory, but Diane declined that most generous offer as it was not her path, and decided to go to art school in Berkeley, California. The illustrations in the series are a result of her education at California College of the Arts.
While Diane is creative and drawn to writing, music and art, her practical and analytical side insured that she finished her education with a business degree. Diane and her husband, Michael, met in choir in High School and they own a holistic day spa, One Body Spa, in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley.
Having been fortunate enough to have had years of classical vocal training, from age 7 to 18, Diane continues to love classical music and is fascinated by the history and the art form. She feels strongly that exposure to opera at a young age helps children feel comfortable with classical vocal music thus building a lifelong love. Diane and Michael help to introduce children to opera through Opera Saratoga’s elementary school programs. Believing that opera is for everyone, Diane is committed to breaking down culturally imposed barriers to the craft.