Music: Lemonade Opera

The three singers who had just taken their bows had to carry part of the Hansel and Gretel scenery offstage with them when the curtain went down. A carrot-haired electrician in costume flipped a few switches, then hurried onstage again. The ticket-seller looked like—and was—the girl who had sung Zerlina in Don Giovanni. It was homemade "Lemonade Opera," and though the singing and acting were occasionally weak and sugary, Manhattan was gulping it down.

Last May, a bustling young (29) voice coach, Kenneth Hieber, rounded up a group of young singers who were eager...

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