Yes, Boxing Day and the final Act of Silvio ! Everything is coming to a climactic conclusion as Toni, Cheri, Sarko, Merko, thousands of angry taxpayers and our eponymous hero are all forgathered at the Palazzo Fribi.
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Act 3 begins with the taxpayers having stormed the courtyard of the palazzo. Pari siamo! is their rousing chorus (we’re all in this together). Then they turn on the two clowns, Sarko and Merko, who hurriedly look for somewhere to hide. In another of their classic bilingual comedy duets, Sarko trills Sous ces bois au feuillage immense (quick – under the shrubbery!), while Merko sings In den angenehmen Büschen (take to the bushes!); and they exit hurriedly.
In the ensuing chaos, the venal trio of Silvio, Toni and Cheri make good their escape, protesting to the taxpayers they encounter No, Pagliaccio non son! (I’m not one of those bloody clowns!). They scurry to a dark chamber in the depths of the palazzo. Cheri thinks she is being taken to the strong-room to be given the bung she craves, and sings Conduisez-moi vers celui que j'adore (lead me to the money). Silvio cannot believe she hasn’t realized the danger they are in, delivering O rendetemi la speme (give me strength!)
But Toni is transfixed by a spectral presence in the corner of the room. Trembling, he sings È strano! È strano!...Ah, fors` è lui (strange, strange – can it be him ?) Yes ! it is the ghost of Christmas Hitchens, come to berate him for his conversion to Catholicism, intoning in basso profundo è in ciel la luna (Heaven is for nutters). Toni grabs Cheri by the hand and rushes off, singing Pace, pace, mio Dio (quick, quick, for God's sake).
The wily Silvio is left alone with the shade of Hitchens, and they share a knowing glance. The clamour of the taxpayers outside is reaching a crescendo, but Silvio has seen it all before: they sing in duet: Ne andro lontana (they won't get far) - and the curtain falls for the last time.