Children enjoyed a tale of victory over candy-coated evil Saturday morning when the Junior Committee of the New Orleans Opera Association’s Women’s Guild staged “Hansel and Gretel” at Carrollton United Methodist Church.

The fully staged and costumed production, aimed at those new to opera and especially those 12 and younger, was part of the MetroPelican Opera outreach program.

Nearly 100 people attended, of whom 48 were children, said event chairwoman Juanita R. Marino.

That was the idea, Marino said. “The mission of Junior Committee is to maintain and cultivate an interest in opera and opera education,” she said. “This event, designed specifically for children, enhances and unites our efforts by bringing a greater awareness of the opera tradition in the community.

A half an hour of crafts preceded the curtain, and after the production families enjoyed refreshments including desserts and hot cocoa, as well as a festive holiday beverage for adults.

Meanwhile, children were invited to decorate their own gingerbread boy or girl.

The Junior Committee supports the New Orleans Opera Association through fundraising and education.

MetroPelican Opera, the education/outreach wing of the New Orleans Opera Association, was founded in 1988 by Arthur Cosenza. MetroPelican introduces students in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to the opera with in-school programming and free student previews.