Shows F

Act II Back in Florence at Cellini’s workshop, Benvenuto and Angela finally consummate their passion. But they bicker the following morning, and when a missive from the Duchess arrives (“The Duchess’s Letter”) inviting Cellini to decorate the summer palace, he sets his mind on the Duchess rather than Angela. Cellini’s inconstancy aggrieves Angela, who blames it all on Cupid (“The Little Naked Boy”). Meanwhile, at the city palace, the guards always have their spears at the ready (“Just in Case”). Inside the palace, the Duke schemes to woo Angela by writing her a love poem, but he cannot come up with “A Rhyme for Angela.” When he learns that Cellini has taken Angela away, the Duke again threatens to hang him, but the Duchess persuades him to put him on trial first. The people of Florence gather in a carnival atmosphere once again (“Hear Ye!”). The judges read the charges against Cellini (“The World is Full of Villains”) but Cellini protests that his past behavior, like everyone else’s, is predetermined by the stars (“You Have to Do What You Do Do”). For a moment the Duke is amused by this, sensing that this astrological alibi covers his own amatory transgressions. Then Ottaviano testifies that Cellini conspired to kill the Duke. Just when Cellini appears doomed, Ascanio testifies that it was really Ottaviano who was plotting against the Duke (“How Wonderfully Fortunate”), and the Duchess supports the accusation. So the Duke again reverses himself, arresting Ottaviano and pardoning Cellini. Now Cellini decides to accept the commission to redecorate Fontainebleau. For the greater glory of art and posterity (“Love is My Enemy”), he swears off both the Duchess and Angela, while they commiserate with each other (“The Little Naked Boy” reprise). The scene shifts to Fontainebleau (“Come to Paris”) where Cellini, deprived of Angela as a model/muse, has a bad case of “sculptor’s block.” Suddenly the Duke and Duchess of Florence arrive, with Angela in tow. Cellini reconciles with Angela. Finally he finishes and unveils his nymph statue, as commedia dell’arte players perform a motley dance. Bizarrely, Maffio reappears—he had not been killed after all. As Cellini and Maffio draw their swords, a spirit of gaiety lights up the stage in a final reprise of “Life, Love, and Laughter.” CAST - (in order of appearance): • Hangman • Tartman • Souvenir Man • Maffio • Arlecchino • Columbina • Pierot • Flomina • Pantalone • Fiorinetta • Celfomino • Rosania • Dottore • Magistrate • (Benvenuto) Cellini • Captain of the Guard • Ottaviano • Ascanio • Emelia • Angela • Marquis • Duke • Page • Duchess • Major-Domo • Clark of the Court Chorus of Models; Apprentices; Soldiers; Promenaders; Courtiers