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The character of Sir John Falstaff – a vain, corpulent and cowardly knight - appears in Shakespeare’s two 'Henry IV' plays and 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. Falstaff has also inspired a number of great classical works.
Vaughan Williams' version of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' incorporates English folk tunes, including 'Greensleeves'. Performances of the opera are rare. After 1958, the opera remained unstaged in the UK until the 2006 production at English National Opera which was the company's first production of the work.
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