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The International Choir Festival: perfect harmony in Provence

The 25th edition of the Provence International Choir Festival will be taking place in July 2021 in over 30 regional towns. A must for song and choir fans, this event brings together the world’s finest choirs every year, come to compete for the festival’s many prizes. It also promises audiences a heart-warming experience, with 5 days of concerts and escapades in the local towns, villages and natural landscapes. A trove of Provencal treasures to the sound of music, courtesy of the association Choral Events.

Published on 12 January 2021

Warming up in Marseille…

…or Toulon

Calling all choir singer and musicians: the first notes of your musical adventure in Provence have chimed! Settle down comfortably at your hotel and head out to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere before the opening concert. If you’re in Toulon, vary the pleasure with a tour of the town’s strikingly-contrasted moods: the historic quarter and Rue des Arts steeped in local lifestyle or Mont FaronToulon’s iconic mountain -, boasting 360° panoramic views over the Med. Good vibrations galore! If you’ve landed in Marseille for the day, a captivating mix of tradition and modernity awaits, ranging from ancient remains to ultra-modern architecture, all steeped in sunshine, smiles and local banter.

Singing the praises of Marseille

A plunge into history

Your superb performance at the resoundingly-successful première caused quite a buzz at breakfast. And now, Marseille awaits you for a whole new show – a voyage back in time into Greek and Roman remains and fascinating layers of history and influences. After a soothing morning in the city centre and picturesque streets of the ancient Panier quarter, opt for a sunny terrace on the Old Port (Vieux Port), perfect for savouring some local, traditional specialities. In the afternoon, make a beeline for the Endoume quarter – a genuine village within the city – then the Corniche coast road overlooking little coves, stretching all the way to the little port of L’Estaque. Admire the sunshine glinting across the bows of the old fishermen’s boats and lighting up the sea with dazzling sparkles stretching all the way to the horizon. It’s easy to see why great artists such as Cézanne, to name but one, were so inspired here…

Get inspired by the sea air

Cradled by the waves in the Cassis Fjords

The second performance was unforgettable too – a whirlwind of remarkable artistic talent and amazing encounters. Despite all the excitement, you managed to get a good night’s sleep in your cosy room. You might have a musical ear but do you have good sea legs? Climb aboard for a morning cruise in the stunning Calanques de Cassis fjords – Port Miou, Port Pin and En Vau – and delve into the endless natural treasures of Calanques National Park. Treat yourself to lunch in this glinting wonderland, cradled by gentle waves. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please: chilling on the beach and bathing in the Med or an urban escapade in the town of Cassis – simply pick what you fancy most before this evening’s show!

In tune with Aix-en-Provence

To the beat of art and culture

It’s time to wind up the festival with a final concert, so really make the most of it with your fellow singers. Considered as the historic capital of Provence and an absolute benchmark for culture, art and history lovers, Aix-en-Provence leads you on a magical urban adventure. Starting out from Place de la Rotonde, head up Cours Mirabeau, popping into the little boutiques and craft workshops you’ll come across in the side streets. Pick up a chocolate pouch from Puyricard and a few “calisson” candies from Le Roy René and your take-home gifts are sorted! Aix-en-Provence is coveted by your fellow artists and the memory of Cézanne, in particular, is still very much alive and kicking in and around the town. It’s time to meet up for dinner for the last time for a debrief of the day’s discoveries before savouring tonight’s final performance.

Don’t miss the festival competition!

1st edition in 2021 and already lots of choirs in the line-up

Have you signed up to the competition yet? Whatever your speciality – church, pop, folk, classic or opera -, your recording, bio and group photo are already well-anchored in the jury’s mind. Just before or after your short break in Provence, get ready to astonish the audience with your heart-warming harmonies from July 8th to 11th, 2021.

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