Family-friendly is the operating principle of Sarasota Opera's production of Hansel and Gretel, which opens Saturday and has six performances through March 13. Engelbert Humperdinck's opera on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale will be sung in English, with the text projected above the stage, and all evening performances, except for opening night, will start at 7 p.m. The March 13 matinee has free child care for toddlers, so families and older children can take in the opera (call and make a reservation for the babysitting).
Hansel and Gretel, a Christmas opera tradition in Europe, combines German folk songs with Wagnerian opulence in the orchestra. The cast includes Heather Johnson as Hansel, Angela Mortellaro as Gretel and Stella Zambalis as the Witch, with Anthony Barrese conducting. $19-$120. (941) 366-8450, ext. 1; sarasotaopera.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic