"Hansel and Gretel" opera for children -- for free -- in Mystic

Deanna Swanson as Gretel and Lauren Lyles as Hansel in the Lollipop Opera production.
Deanna Swanson as Gretel and Lauren Lyles as Hansel in the Lollipop Opera production.

For the past seven years, an anonymous opera lover has, with the help of the Stonington Free Library, brought in opera performances for children.

This year, that means "Hansel and Gretel" Saturday at Mystic Stage. Connecticut Lyric Opera and Lollipop Opera team up to stage these morning shows.

Over the years, more than 3,000 kids have seen these performances - which have included the likes of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs."

The production, an abbreviated setting of the popular Humperdinck opera, stars Deanna Swanson as Gretel, Lauren Lyles as Hansel, Kerry Gotschall as mother and witch, and John Swanson as father and sandman. Nathaniel Baker is the accompanist.

The 50-minute show is aimed at ages 4 to 8. Those youngsters will be happy to know that the theater, which is located in Olde Mistick Village Art Cinemas, will have a popcorn concession open for the shows.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

"Hansel and Gretel" opera, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Mystic Stage, Olde Mistick Village Art Cinemas, Coogan Boulevard, Mystic; free; reservations required: (860) 535-0658.

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