Dunk reads the words of Nero (the first known leader to use a speechwriter) as a woman in a white dress sings and his band plays beautifully behind him.
The speech is chilling. Nero orates about his plan for Rome, his consternations - how can so great an empire have let its poor grow so many? A great song, a creepy Orwellian rant, taking its time.
The next song is a Dunk solo, a light number, years later, as Nero takes "endless long vacations" with his cronies, slits the blood of those who oppose him. "Crowned with Love," I think the piece is. It has a speedy, snowballing, fast-talking power. A "Let Them Eat Cake" nonchalance.
Then Rome burns. "What a night it was, back in 64... (It really was just 64)," says the narrator. Nero quickly lays the blame on others. "Such a photo-op," Nero with the victims, looking like a leader who cares. But he says the people are better off homeless - if only you'd seen their homes before.
A song, beginning with the female lead, "The towers fallen, without an answer, ashes on the wind..." Dunk backs her up. A somber song.
The stage darkens.