Music: Out of the Bar

A dozen years ago Cleveland-born Grace Hoffman, now 34. was working as a cashier and bar checker at a watering hole on Broadway hard by the Metropolitan Opera House. Last week she turned up at the place across the street, this time as Brangäne in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. To cover the 100-odd yards, she had to travel to the musical capitals of Europe and back again.

Mezzo-Soprano Hoffman held on to her Manhattan bar job while she took singing lessons. In 1951 she won a Fulbright scholarship to study opera in Italy, became a member first of the Zurich Stadt-theater, later...

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