We return to the Palazzo Fribi for the second part of our festive cultural extravaganza - Silvio !
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We left as the distracted Toni, finding Cheri missing and fearful she may be fingering Silvio’s Magic Flute, was rushing around the Palazzo in search of the pushy princess. Now read on …
Act 2: The scene opens in Silvio’s bedroom, where an inebriated Cheri is shamelessly pleading for ‘a little benefit’, singing Ah! si, ben mio (ah ! if only you could slip me a bung). Silvio gives her to understand that he’ll be wanting something in return, and with a knowing leer delivers the tenor aria Mi tradì quell'alma è buona (I trade in such ‘gifts’ and ‘bonuses’ …)
Suddenly, Toni bursts in and Silvio, seeing the chance of having his wicked way is lost, angrily declaims Ah! Fuggi il traditor (Oh fiddlesticks ! that’s given the game away). Toni berates Cheri with Cortigiani, vil razza dannata (damn’ courtesan - on the razz again !)
Just when things are looking ugly, a fanfare is heard from the courtyard below. The trio rush to the balcony to see a motorcade draw up; and out of two limos emerge the distinctive figures of Sarko and Merko, two clowns. They storm upstairs, tripping over frequently and bumping into pillars; and when they reach the landing, they perform a comic duet. Sarko, in French, delivers Connais-tu le pays? (so who’s going to foot the bill ?); and Merko sings the German Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben (your brains are scrambled, me old china).
Silvio, Toni and Cheri are dumfounded: what are the demented duo up to ?
A chorus of angry European tax-payers is heard offstage, and the curtain descends on the uproarious and farcical proceedings. To be continued ...