Silvio has come to beg Toni and Cheri to help him evade his many foes; but his pleas fall on deaf ears. He is troubled by a stranger whom he seems to know. Settle down for the final act!
The curtain opens on a scene that resembles the opening of the opera, with Toni, Cheri and the mysterious adviser again gathered around a mountain of cash. This time, Cheri is even more ecstatic than before – her CBE has arrived in the post! She delivers the high-pitched aria Che beltà, che leggiadria (what a belter! what a legacy I leave!), causing Toni to wince. As she rushes out in a frenzy of pleasure, he sings sarcastically: Ach so fromm, ach so traut (oh, such a big cheese! … such an old trout).
The stage darkens as night falls, and once again Silvio enters, glancing nervously over his shoulder. Ma quando un suon terrible, he sings (I am in a terrible quandary), explaining that settling with the tax authorities will clean him out, with several angry fathers and two plastic surgeons also still demanding money with menaces. Cannot Toni help him get back into politics, thereby obtaining immunity from prosecution? Once again, Toni has only advice for him, and gives his opinion that Silvio no longer has a future in politics:he gives us Odi il voto o grande Iddio, (listen to the voters, you big eejit).
Silvio’s despair is palpable. As he tears at his newly transplanted hair, the mysterious man in grey leans over and whispers to Toni, who seems to agree with what is being suggested. Turning to Silvio he explains the plan. Sei splendida e lucante, he sings (this fine fellow is Lord Lucan!). He is a master of disguise, and will help Silvio escape. Lucan and Silvio step into a side room, just as a mob of angry Italians is heard in the driveway of the mansion.
As the mob bursts into the room, two figures emerge from the side room – it is Lucan dressed as the Pope and Silvio disguised as a nun! The crowd fall silent and the nun asks them to clear a path for His Holiness. The confused mob shuffles uneasily, still blocking the way to the door, and Lucan cries out in a commanding voice: Nun hört, und versteht mich recht! (listen to the nun, and give me right of way!). The crowd parts and the two escapees make their way out into the night.
The ghastly figure of the frenzied Cheri rejoins Toni, and they exchange a knowing look. Gesturing towards the bewildered mob, they sing the famous duet: Ah come il cor di giubilo (ah, how gullible they are at heart), and the curtain falls.
HAPPY NEW YEAR !ND