The traditional story of Hansel and Gretel is rather, er, grim — what with its bleak themes of hunger and abandonment. The opera is a much more nightmare-averse reworking, as it should be for its younger audience. Written by Engelbert Humperdinck — the German-born one, from 1854 — after his sister asked him to help set the libretto she’d composed from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale to music, this Hansel and Gretel are the children of a broom-maker, not a woodcutter. But perhaps more importantly, the two aren’t cruelly kicked out to the forest and left to die (though the evil, children-gobbling Gingerbread Witch still looms large). The Nashville Opera is doing more than just putting on the show — they invite local children over for a sneak preview of selected scenes, duets and arias, with a bonus chance to meet the cast and build their own gingerbread house afterward. And in this case, eating it isn’t just a trick to fatten them up. Limited seating means guests should register at nashvilleopera.org in advance.