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Hansel und Gretel 

When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 26 2017
Price: $30-$55
Union Avenue Opera closes its 2017 season with Hänsel und Gretel, the fairy tale opera composed by Engelbert Humperdinck (the nineteenth century German composer, not the English pop singer of the 1970s). It's directly inspired by the well-known folk story collected by the Brothers Grimm, which means it includes starving children, weird magic, an evil witch and a touch of murder. Among its other sterling qualities are a Dew Fairy, a heavenly host of protective angels and Humperdinck's deft incorporation of German folk music in the score. Union Avenue Opera presents Hänsel und Gretel in the original German with English supertitles at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (August 18 to 26) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Avenue; www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $55.
— Paul Friswold

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