classical music

Chelsea Opera Group: Sir John in Love

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

Embrace love and laughter in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ joyful take on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor.

Vaughan Williams wasn’t trying to outdo Verdi (who’d written an opera about Shakespeare’s comic character) when he wrote Sir John in Love.

He had a very different vision for his Falstaff.

In his music he manages to bring the loveable old rogue to life with all the warmth, humour, cheekiness and gentle melancholy of the original play.

The story is all twists and turns, mistaken identities and dastardly schemes as Falstaff tries to have his cake and eat it.

Vaughan Williams wrote his own libretto, sticking closely to the language of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor and weaving in English folk songs along the way.

The setting of Greensleeves in Act 3 is some of Vaughan Williams’ most loved music.

Featuring the composer’s trademark rich harmonies, expressive rhythms and gift for beautiful sentimentality, this is a journey into a glorious, idealised old England.


Chelsea Opera Group Orchestra
Martin Yates conductor
cast to be announced
Chelsea Opera Group Chorus


Vaughan Williams: Sir John in Love - opera in 4 acts

Dates & times

26 Jun 2021
Approximate run time: 150 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£17 - £45
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£17, £25, £35, £45


25% off (limited availabilty)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.