Monsieur Cayssials

Picture of M. Cayssials

Monsieur Cayssials singsPagliacci: Me grimer
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Cayssials (no first name known) studied voice at the conservatory of Nîmes. He had a long career at mostly secondary theaters.

In 1904, he was a member of the theater of Tournai and sang, as a guest, Sylvain in Les dragons de Villars at the Casino in Nîmes on 1 July; in August, he was very successful at the Casino in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where he also participated in a concert with sacred music at the church of Saint-Vincent on 25 August. However, a critic of L'Avenir des Hautes-Pyrénées voiced an objection against him that we'll encounter now and again: that his diction was so flawed that any text he sang or spoke was totally incomprehensible.

In January 1906, he appeared in Besançon in Zampa; the reviewer of "Nîmes-Journal" was the next one to write that he sang eccellently, but needed to improve his speaking skills (important in opéra-comique!). In autumn of the same year, he was a second tenor in Montpellier, singing Tybalt and Léopold; the critic of "La Vie Montpelliéraine" said his voice was pretty, but he needed to work on it so as to avoid its "somersault" when singing falsetto. (Utterly beautiful wording, I have to memorize that.)

In 1907, he spent a season at the Casino in Néris. In spring 1908, he was a member of the theater in Montpellier, and in summer first operetta and second opera tenor for the season at the Grand-Casino in Vals-les-Bains. In fall of the same year, he became a member of the theater of Brest (first operetta tenor, second opéra-comique tenor). In fact, he sang also first opera roles there: he had good success in La fille du régiment and particularly in Le chalet.

In spring 1909 as well as in spring 1912, he was in Angoulême (as a second tenor), and obviously quite popular as such: in 1909, he scored once again an enormous success as Daniel in Le chalet – that seems to have been his best role. In summer 1909, he was a member of the troupe at the Casino of Le Tréport, singing operetta. In 1910, he got a contract in Bordeaux (one of the two really important theaters of his career, besides Marseille many years later).

In fall 1912, he joined the theater of Amiens, singing comprimario parts in opera and main parts in operetta; his first two appearances were Gastone in La traviata, and Gontran de Solanges in Les mousquetaires au couvent, and the critic of "Le Progrès de la Somme" said what we already know: that Cayssials' speaking voice could hardly be understood. In 1913, he was engaged in Montpellier from January onwards, for the operetta summer season at the Casino in Rochefort-sur-Mer, and at the theater in Perpignan in autumn for another operetta season; in winter, he was a second tenor in opera in Cannes. The summer season of 1914 he spent at the Casino in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, this time obviously in minor roles.

He was at the Variétés in Toulouse before becoming, in 1919/20, first tenor of the Nouveau Théâtre in Algiers, an operetta theater (debut: 21 June 1919, Miss Helyett) – and once again, a critic who praised his singing abilities said his diction was insufficient. On 6 September 1921, he sang a secondary role in La Navarraise at the Grand-Casino of Marseille. In 1921/22, he was "premier ténor d'Opéra-Comique" in Nîmes, and very successful in Les mousquetaires au couvent in January 1922.

For the season 1927/28, he was second tenor for opéra-comique and first tenor for operetta in Montpellier. In 1928/29, he was a second tenor at the Opéra municipal in Marseille. The last reference to him that I find is a performance of Le chalet in Cavaillon, with the troupe of the Opéra de Nîmes, on 2 April 1930.

- L'Avenir des Hautes-Pyrénées, 24 July 1904; 28 August 1904; 17 May 1914
- Le Bulletin de Vichy, 18 December 1913
- La Charente, 21 April 1909; 1 May 1912
- Le Combat, 26 May 1907
- Comoedia, 15 April 1909
- Le cri du peuple socialist, 2 January 1909
- La Dépêche de Brest, 20 September 1908
- L'Écho d'Alger, 18 June 1919; 13 November 1919
- L'Éclair, 1 July 1904
- Le Gard, 24 November 1921; 25 January 1922
- Journal d'Aubenas, 27 June 1908
- Le Ménestrel, 19 October 1928
- Le Monde Artiste, 14 June 1913; 26 July 1913
- Nîmes-Journal, 13 January 1906; 23 October 1913
- Les Nouvelles, 9 September 1919; 15 February 1920; 9 March 1920
- Le Petit Caporal, 15 September 1909
- Le Petit Marseillais, 6 September 1921
- Le Petit Méridional, 3 September 1927
- Le Progrès de la Somme, 6 November 1912
- Le Radical de Vaucluse, 7 April 1930
- La Vie Montpelliéraine, 14 October 1906; 11 November 1906; 4 October 1908; 9 October 1910; 26 January 1913; 12 October 1913

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