‘Ascanio' is a grand opera composed by Camille Saint-Saëns during 1887–1888. The opera's French libretto is based on the 1852 play ‘Benvenuto Cellini’. The name was changed to ‘Ascanio’ to avoid confusion with the Berlioz opera ‘Benvenuto Cellini’.
The music for the third act includes a lengthy divertissement of 12 dances which is highly reminiscent of French Baroque opera. This ballet music - in contrast to the opera itself - became somewhat popular. The final movement of the ballet is a waltz in which the listener is constantly misled. Dutch arranger Andre Bodin transcribed this waltz from ‘Ascanio’ for Symphonic Band.