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Not-so-sweet tale of Hansel, Gretel comes to local theater
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GAINESVILLE — The Metropolitan Opera in New York is world famous for their productions. And now, with the Met Opera Live in HD, people all around the world can experience elaborate opera performances.

The HD opera experience brings people close to the action with backstage interviews and glimpses during wardrobe and set changes.

"You’re right there in the middle of it, which you don’t get if you are actually in New York," said Pat Burd, who attended "Romeo et Juliette," the first performance of the season on Dec. 15. "You get the stage, the interviews, you get to witness interviews with the stars. You can even see the buttons on their costumes, I love it."

The next HD show is set for New Year’s Day and is a new performance of "Hansel and Gretel."

Alice Coote and Christine Schafer play the siblings who get lost in a shadowy forest and are pursued by a witch (portrayed by tenor Philip Langridge).

The opera, which runs two hours and 10 minutes, will be performed in English.

Christa Fritzsch, who also attended "Romeo et Juliette" on Dec. 15, recalled playing the witch in a high school version in Germany, where she grew up. "All the Grimm’s stories are pretty brutal; they are not really fun fairy tales." she said. "If you read all the others, all the mayhem and the murder, and Hansel and Gretel is like that, too. I mean, abandoning your children, (audiences) have to be a little older."

Burd said she hopes to take her three grandchildren to the production.

"They said it was appropriate for children 8 and older, and for 7-year-olds that aren’t afraid of the dark," she said.