In a rapid-fire duet, early in the second act, Selim (Erwin Schrott) and Geronio (Nicola Alaimo) meet in a tavern to discuss their differences. Selim relates the Turkish custom of lustful princes offering to buy the wives of other men for a fair price. Geronio responds by describing the Italian custom of countering such offers with a quick punch in the nose!
THE B SIDE: "A bothersome old man”
The comic high point of Act Two may be a madcap ensemble at the costume ball. Selim and Fiorilla (Erwin Schrott and Olga Peretyatko) encounter Narciso and Zaida (René Barbera and Cecilia Molinari) -- who are dressed as Selim and Fiorilla. That complicated quartet becomes a quintet when the "old man" Geronio (Nicola Alaimo) joins in, so confused that he can't even tell which woman is his own wife.