Giacomo Arbate: The Hunt for Legato Game (pt. 3)


…the name’s Arbate. Giacomo Arbate.

[Silly Bond fun, concluded: 007 references meet the Brussels “Mitridate”. Intertextual hijinks ensue. Proceed at your own risk! – This is the final pt. 3, the prior installments can be found here and here]

Since I do not want to tag the individual images (this is not a post related to opera critique), here’s the overall cast list, and if you ended up here because you were looking for actual information on the 2016 “Mitridate” production at La Monnaie in Brussels staged by le lab, feel free to check out the liveblog and the aftershow review thread instead (for more screencap fun, see Aspasia’s Diary).
With few exceptions (*cough* profileshots *cough*), I’ve downscaled the display of all screencaps to a uniform 800px width – if there is a larger version available, the image is clickable and will lead you to it (@towanda, re: Aspasia).

Giacomo Arbate – The Hunt for Legato Game

[based on screencaps of the 2016 Brussels “Mitridate”, featuring Michael Spyres (Mitridate), Lenneke Ruiten (Aspasia), Myrtò Papatanasiu (Sifare), Simona Šaturová (Ismene), David Hansen (Farnace), Sergey Romanovsky (Marzio) and – in the role of Bond – Yves Saelens (Arbate)]


…the name’s Arbate. Giacomo Arbate.

I’m a tenor super agent with LM6, on the hunt for Legato Game – the mysterious villain who has led Aspasia (=Asset A.) to cancel her engagement with M and endangers the stability of Pontus.
My mission: to take out Legato Game, make sure the wedding takes place (no matter the theme), and keep our kingdom safe.


Mission Notes:
Moneypenny and I have I sat down M and Trill Masterson at a table to renegotiate the wedding. The mood has room for improvement.



“Of course we’re getting married! I even redesigned the theme for you – pirates, remember?”


“And how is that supposed to change my mind?!”

Bond3_04 pirates are perfectly reasonable

“Pirates are a perfectly reasonable choice for a wedding theme.”

bond3_05 maraschino cherries.png

“Maraschino cherry?”

“Look, I know we had a fun party on that yacht…”

Bond3_06 but I am not getting married to you.png

“…but it was just that one party, M. I don’t even remember agreeing to marrying you!”

masrashine cherries - I will end you.png

“…and stop it with the maraschino cherries!!”

Bond3 get another dress.png

“We’ve got a contract, Cadenza DaCapo. We are getting married. And your sneaking around with the nefarious Legato Game is not changing anything! – So you can just as well go back to dress shopping. Sifare there can keep you company.”

Mission Notes:
M just let on to Asset A. that we know about her interactions with Legato Game. %&/%/&%§$$##****§!!!!
Time is running out. Hopefully, I can get some intel on our villain from of my old ex-KGB contacts, Vibratov and  Chestvoischinova. Desperate times, desperate measures!

but pirates!.png

“But does it have to be pirates, M?”


someone has seen the contest numbers.png

“Oh, if it isn’t Colonel Howl-At-The-Moon! Have you seen the latest numbers from the Bachelor Contest? I am pulling ahead of you!”


Bond3 the ninja ladybugs are not working.png

“Jaws, mate – that ninja ladybug operation is not working out. Moneypenny is still gaining ground in the contest! Sorry, but I’ve got to pull the plug on our warfare fauna agreement.”

Bond3 Jaws - killer flamingos.png

“Fine. Who needs ladybugs, anyway? – Now crocodiles… yes, crocodiles! With C4 castagnettes, and a ballet education! And then I will take over the world! Ahahahahaaa!”


so thats what dad designed for the bridesmaids - we need an intervention.png

“Not talking to you, Passaggi Galore.”

“This is bigger than we are – these are the wedding invites Dad has designed. I call an emergency truce!”

“… agreed. We need an intervention. This is worse than an IKEA shower curtain.”

hippos with tanks.png

“…or hippos! Hippos with tanks!”

numbers for the bachelor contest.png

“Let me check the poll stats – is Moneypenny really pulling ahead of me? Damn…”

Bond3_sure youcan play with the big girls.png

Mission Notes:
Moneypenny is buffing her nails on Farnace’s shirtfront.

“Well, Scaramozart… seems like you are drawing the short stick this time!”

“Moneypenny, you appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.”


bond3 -ismene-considering-the-view.png

“Should I order the humble pie for you already, Farnace? How’s the water at the losing end of the betting pool?”

“You could always come in and find out, Moderata Frost.”

Bond3_get a room you two.png

“Oh, get a room, you two!”

breathe and count to ten Ismene

Mission Notes:
Is Moneypenny pondering what I’m pondering? Will it lead to the quick capture of Legato Game?
(And where is Sifare again? Surveillance footage proves they haven’t shown up at the bridal store, and neither has Aspasia!)

wait what.png

“Sifare did WHAT? Take Aspasia to a Greenpeace protest?”

you getitng dragged off again fine... .png

“What was it this time, Sifare? Chaining yourselves to trees?!”

“The outdoors may have been involved. Possibly, tying up, too.”

Mission Notes:
I am used to bailing Sifare out of these protest brawls…

but dragging Aspasia into it.png

Mission Notes:
…but now they’re dragging Asset A. into it?!

most fun I've had in ages.png

“That was the most fun I’ve had in ages!”

i need a new job.png

“Oh yeah, what fun, exactly? Did you give Melisma Havelock a tour around the birds and trees? …Che soave zeffiretto?”

Mission Notes:
(I need a new job.)
(M is muttering something about needing new kids.)
(M is also muttering something about “Nice digs.”)

Bond3_to the hairdresser.png

“Enough with the local wildlife. Take Aspasia somewhere harmless, where Legato Game will have no chance to engage her – to the hairdresser’s!”

Bond3 if this bunker is on sale or for rent.png

Mission Notes:
M is still contemplating the interior design of the hall.

“These are really nice digs. Towering and intimidating. I wonder if this bunker is for sale… or for rent… and how it might look on a cozy volcano island…”

Bond3 My volcano is bigger than yours.png

“Oh, you mean an island like the one I own, M? And my volcano bunker is bigger than this…”

my laser beams are bigger.png

“Ha, your stupid volcano and your stupid bunker! I have two words for you: Real Estate. Bubble.”

my underbround bunker will be bigger than yours.png

“Technically, that’s three words.”

“And you will have to see your dentist after I shove all three of them down your throat!”

Bond3_where is my fiance.png

“Okay, fine. Where are we on the funding for my volcano? …the Greece contracts? – Where did my fiancée go?”

Bond3 - ins earch of a flimsy excue for another profile shot

Mission Notes:
I have informed M that Sifare has taken Asset A. to the stylist to try out hairdos for the wedding. Sifare is keeping an eye on her. A very focused eye.

Bond 3 hairstyle conversation.png

Mission Notes:
Video surveillance footage from the hairdresser is calming M further. Clearly, Asset A. is discussing hairstyles with Sifare. In-depth. Legato Game won’t be able to approach her.

fight for your right to paaaaaarty.png

“Fight for your right to paaaarty! – Take that, Moneypenny! I’m not sure your bachelor credit can still hold up to mine after the party I threw last night.”

scrape that off social media.png

“Oh, I know. My prototype Tank Hippo comes with a social media hub. – Good luck in scratching those photos off Facebook again. Also, Moneypenny’s numbers are still rising.”

but I wanted to win msot eligible bachelor.png

Mission Notes:
After a pressing engagement with the wardrobe and ironing department, Farnace is sulking.

Bond3_Aspaisa disheveled.png

Mission Notes:
Someone else a little out of sorts this morning: Asset A. I asked her why she is looking so disheveled. She told me it’s still due to all the different styles she tried out at the hairdresser’s yesterday.

Apparently, that’s a good way to keep her occupied. I sent her back to the stylist, with Sifare to keep an eye on her.


Mission Notes:
Video surveillance in progress: Asset A. is trying on more dresses. Sifare is helping with the ribbons and buttons. Covert stakeout!


Bond3_Legato Game_caught.png

Mission Notes:
Video surveillance in progr —-
Asset A. and Sifare are making out. Not so covert.
Wait,  WHAT??!!


“Whaaaaa…..?! — Sifare is Legato Game?!”

Bond3 farnace eyeroll.png




Bond3_hope it doesn't mean flannel.png

“I’m not sure what happens next, but I hope it won’t involve flannel.”


“Grrrr! If I had a desert island volcano, I would simply throw you into it! Now I have to ask Jaws for some of his Castagnette Crocodiles! The humiliation!”

diplomatic danger.png

“No press conference today. And absolutely no questions on animal rights. And no, we do not condone crocodile shoes!”

Ismene was alread planning the bahelor aprty.png

“Traitors, everyone. I’ll make you walk the plank! – I need a volcano!! “

“Think, M – If you skip the whole marriage and wedding planning, you will have much more time to focus on your volcano.”

“And the funding?! The Greece contracts?!”

“The contracts would still go to Pontus if you could convince Aspasia to marry someone else from you kingdom… or even from your family…”

bond3 volcano loan.png

“I heard you are in need of a volcano and short a girlfriend? That’s tough. I’ll rent my secret island to you. Volcano bunker included. – Crocodile in demi-plié on top? Say, how do you feel about warfare fauna?”

dearly beloved 2.png

“Fine, fine. I give in. But keep your guns trained on these two until I’ve got my contracts! – Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today…”

but I had a pirate themed wedding planned mcuh cooler.png

“…and I had pirates. Pirates!

Bond3 shotgun.png

Mission Notes:
Shotgun wedding in progress. Slight confusion about legal situation and pronouns. (Resolved by M pointing gun barrel at officiant in charge.)
Sifare remembered to ask Aspasia whether she is actually okay with this new outcome (cute, but also pointless in face of a gun. Also, who let that crocodile in here, and why is it wearing a tutu?).

but will it involve flannel.png

“I’m really not getting out of marrying into this family, am I?”

Bond3_boyband puppy eyes.png

Mission Notes:
I give Asset A. about five seconds of resistance to those boyband-honed puppy dog eyes.

BOnd3 twoa nd a half. well.png

Mission Notes:
…she caved in at three.

new tourism announcement.png

“Ehhrm, yes, Pontus has decided to focus on marketing tourism to the pink dollar to boost the economy… as a honeymoon getaway, for starters. Of course, social justice issues are also important. Yes, the wedding buffet will be vegan…”

(I swear, if Sifare doesn’t stop smirking, I will feed them to Jaws’ Ballet Crocodiles, veganism be damned!)

won the contest - yes you did.png

“Moneypenny, I know that grin. You won the Brussels’ Most Eligible Bachelor Contest, didn’t you?”

“By a landslide. Never underestimate the power of a well-placed bikini photo. – But I’ve decided to withdraw from the contest…”

“But why?”

moneypenny farnace.png

“Oh, I’ve come up with a much better way to get back at Farnace. I’ve challenged him to a desert islands tour in nothing but swimwear and strap-on daggers. We’ll be looking at shells. Or just looking.”

Bond3_what about killer flamingos_dinner.png

“So, Farnace… nevermind those ladybugs, can I interest you in telekinetic silk monkeys? With ultraosund killer waves?”

“That is beginning to sound like a reasonable option. But I have no time, I need to shop for swimwear.”


“Mission solved, Eve. I need a martini! Shaken, not stirred.”

“How about some dinner to go with that, Giacomo? My treat.”

Eve I thought ou'd never ask.png

“Oh, Eve. I thought you’d never ask.”

“You get your tux while I get my galas. I’ll pick you up at seven.”


“Hm, silk monkeys… and now M is sending me a proposal on killer flamingos? Intriguing!”

M making new plans.png

“I wonder how killer flamingos would look on a volcano… on a glacier! Is there any kingdom boasting glaciers with an eligible prince or princess? I must ask Arbate to call our contacts in Reykjavik immediately…”

signing off not my issue.png

“Sorry, Sir. After hours. The Hunt for Legato Game is over, and I’m off to dinner with Eve.”

BOnd3 lovebirds.png

Final Mission Report:
Pontus and the contracts are saved, and Legato Game has been captured. In a manner of speaking. Case closed!
And at least these two lovebirds will be good for touristic marketing. Perhaps we could issue collection dessert plates, like the British do with their royal weddings? I will have to call Adlib Tremoloyan at MI6 about that.

Bond3_THE END.jpg


29 thoughts on “Giacomo Arbate: The Hunt for Legato Game (pt. 3)”

  1. I forgot to add the disclaimer:

    “Possibly, the Bond franchise was linguistically harmed during the production of this operatic feature. This extends to the names of most Bond girls and Bond movies, several villains, some fauna and a few quotes.”


    1. 🙂

      (well, we all know that this elaborate Bond scheme is just a cover-op to justify the extensive posting of screencaps and swooning at them while queering the narrative on the side)


      1. i accept defeat and seek refuge here from them ocean currents.. that photo gets me every time! but i must admit i really enjoy also Sifare’s grin during the new conference.. surely you also recall the 2 hands in pocket (while still with scarf on) getting on the toes. Actually i notice she was rubbing nose during that rehearsal video in Paris , perhaps it was canned there so she made plenty use of it here!
        (no chance yet to make any bond or cultural connections.. though i also should mention i have seen only a couple with Sean Connery and 1 with Timothy Dalton.. and the only “girl” i remember is Tina Turner! (is she really the girl? Golden Girl surely??)


        1. Tina Turner sang the title song to GoldenEye – I don’t think she was in the movie?

          Bond, in a nutshell, is 1960s casual chauvinism/sexism with a side of camp, isn’t it? – evil villains, a hero who would still have a perfectly tied tie when being thrown out of a plane, and lots of women along his way who are willing sexual conquests – with suggestive names, and with lots of innuendo.

          Other than Bond, James Bond (translated as Giacomo), the recurring characters are M (Bond’s boss) and Moneypenny (M’s secretary).
          I’ll try to put up a list/links for comprehension.

          (regarding MP: must rewatch Paris rehearal footage, obviousy. And then we need another trouser role take by a certain singer to compare patterns to determine whether gestures are universal, or production-tied)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. oh no you dont need to put up a list of bond… but i do remember M very well ( hope i am not getting confused w jason bourne plot…)
            but yes, rehearsal in paris, the one where i cap both PP’s eyes + hand scupting musical phrasing.

            seeing these caps again, now with a biy of time lapse, i am even more impressed how well she portrayed this trouser role…


        2. Bond ressources and listing of quotes/derivates for pts. 1-3:

          Overview of Bond villains/Movie titles here, overview of “Bond Girls” here.

          Bond Girls quoted:
          Anya Amasova
          Vesper Lynd
          Christmas Jones
          Xenia Onatopp
          Elektra King
          Honey Rider
          Jill Masterson
          Pussy Galore
          Kissy Suzuki
          Miss Caruso
          Mary Goodnight
          Corinne Dufour
          Melina Havelock
          Miranda Frost

          Bond Villains quoted:
          Blofeld (and his cat)
          Rosa Klebb
          Emilio Largo
          Alec Trevelyan
          Colonel Moon
          General Grubozaboyschikov

          Bond Movie Titles quoted:
          From Russia With Love
          You Only Live Twice
          On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
          Diamonds Are Forever
          Live and Let Die
          The Man With The Golden Gun
          The Spy Who Loved Me
          A View To A Kill
          Licence To Kill
          The World I Not Enough
          Quantum of Solace

          Bond Quotes:
          the bit about the pool/and “come in and find out” happens in “The Man With The Golden Gun”, the “inevitability of an unloved season” is from “Moonraker”.


    2. co-incidentally i had to take a very long walk after il trionfo last night and Brussels’ Lungi did roll around on the phone music.. and i’d like to revise my previous statement of able to hear it and still associated with Paris.. impossible, it is so butter-smooth, definitely Diomedes’ sea last summer.. whereas this summer is Paris. but that shot… it’s now imprinted in my head.. ah..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. of course you had to bring in the Diomedes, now how am I supposed to work like this?!

        The “Lungis” separate more clearly in my head now, as well (each with their own imagery) – Paris is more existential heartbreak and Brussels is more languid seduction. Good thing I don’t have to choose between them. When I went over the Brussels take for the screencaps for this post I was just as swept away again. Damn, *so smooth* indeed!

        And even with the same singer within months of each other, the conducting makes such a difference! I had to cap the third aria (“Se’l rigor d’ingrata sorte”, which would have been the fourth, had they not cut the “Parto!”) for the Greenpeace activism bit in this installment and listened to it a few more times, and even though Papatanasiu does some accent work identical to Paris, the takes are so different – sure, Brussels is structured, and it has speed and energy, but it does not shut off my brain like Paris does. The drive alone, and the way EH thinks in larger arcs and pushes forward, and everything just seems to pulse with energy, and— *sigh* (Rousset does some nice work on individual instrumental colors, but overall, the aria sounds much more contained, much less energetic)


    1. We all need happy endings somewhere – be it with volcanos or without flannel 😉 Personally, I enjoyed putting as much female empowerment and equality into the Bondverse as possible, from Moneypenny succeeding at the contest to Eve being the one to ask Giacomo out in the end. And to not objectifying female desire, whether queer or straight. The innuendos are still fun even if they aren’t sexist.



  2. … you really made me wonder about that Cherry Yacht party. Love how you managed to turn M into a clumsy, benign big boy, fitting so well with female empowerment.


    1. The maraschino cherries are actually not Bond, but “Some Like It Hot” – which is amazingly pro-female and also very laissez-faire about genderqueerness (and it’s from 1962!).

      M was growing on me here – also, Spyres’ acting is gold when it comes to inventing captions – and I liked the idea of a male hero/villain focused on domesticity: marriage, home-building, wedding themes…



        1. one of my very favorites, too!
          And it’s two things mixed, actually: the maraschino cherries appear in the slumber party on the train to Florida; the yacht is linked to Osgood (“The New Caledonia – the Old Caledonia went down during a wild party off Cape Hatteras.”)


            1. Yes, the German version is excellent, perhaps even funnier – just the right bit of independent and very well thought out. (I’ll go looking for my DVD set, too)


  3. ps- finally done reading this post.. delaying my fighting for about 20min, totally justified.. just wanted to say how much fun i had reading this! those puppy dog eyes indeed.. gained from years of experience volunteering at animal shelters and fighting for their rights 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …exactly.
      I had to throw in a bit of queer shade, so animal rights, flannel and veganism. (possibly, fronting a boyband). We are allowed a few inside jokes, right?


    2. Ps. Hope the data will now be more cooperative, too. Ocean Velocity sounds like a good name for a Bond girl, too. 😉


            1. …well, we will always have Paris. (which reminds me that I promised a Casablanca version, too)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s