Callington Singers Tour the Loire Valley

Between 28th May and 4th June, the Callington Singers are embarking on their bi-annual tour. We will be visiting Callington’s twin town of Guipavas in Brittany, to sing and celebrate our 35th anniversary with our twin choir ‘Chorale Chanterelle’.  We first sang in Guipavas in 1985 and the friendships made at that time are still very strong today. We will be hoping to make some new friends by going the long way round. We will be visiting Nantes on the way, where we will be staying and singing with the local choir ‘Voix du Fleuve’. 


There follows an outline of the itinerary of our tour and we will be giving regular updates during our visit using our Twitter account and Facebook pages, you can find and follow us @callsings and keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag #callingtonsingersontour.

After a full day of travelling on Monday, our first stop on Tuesday will be a non-singing adventure at the Vouvray ‘Cave de Vins’ near Tours, where we will be treated to a tour of the wine cellars which are carved out of a cliff face. Winemakers in the region build underground wine caves out of tuffeau limestone, as in the Champagne region, in order to store wine at an ideal temperature and humidity. The tour will obviously be followed by a wine tasting session…so there maybe be some singing after all?

On Wednesday we will be singing at two different chateaux; in the morning we will perform in the bridge gallery of the Chateau de Chenonceau, which was built in the 1570’s when the Chateau was one of the favourite homes of Catherine de Medici. The Chateau is currently owned by the Menier Family, famous for producing high quality chocolate.


The Bridge Galley at the Chateau de Chenonceau

In the afternoon we travel to the Chateau de Cheverny, which is still owned by the Marquis de Vibraye, who despite many changes of ownership over the centuries is a descendant of the original owner, Henri Hurault, Comte de Cheverny, a lieutenant-general and military treasurer for Louis XIII.

The Belgian comic book creator Hergé used Cheverny as a model for his fictional “Château de Moulinsart” (Marlinspike Hall in English) in the Adventures of Tintin books. There is a special exposition about the Tintin adventures in a dedicated room at the castle.


Chateau de Cheverny

On Thursday, at 2 pm, the choir will perform in Nantes Cathedral, which is a magnificent building in the Gothic architectural tradition. Construction of the church began in 1434, on the site of a Romanesque cathedral, and took 457 years to finish, finally reaching completion in 1891. 

In front of the cathedral, on 5 September 1661, on the order of Louis XIV, Nicolas Fouquet was arrested by d’Artagnan; that is to say by Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan, who was the inspiration for the fictional character in the novel, ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas.


The façade of Nantes Cathedral

After the concert at Nantes Cathedral, we will return with our new friends from Voix du Fleuve to their hometown of St. Sébastien sur Loire, which, much like Callington, has a tradition of murals depicting the history and trades of the town. We will celebrate our visit with a big party in the evening. We end our visit to the Loire Valley by performing in St. Sébastien sur Loire with Voix du Fleuve on Friday evening.

On Saturday, we head to Guipavas in Brittany, where we will join with Chorale Chanterelle and several members of our other twin choir, ‘Kantorei Barsbüttel’ from Barsbüttel, near Hamburg in Germany, to give an evening concert in celebration of our long-standing friendship with our twin towns. This will likewise be followed by another big party!  We will spend the next day relaxing and recovering before we wend our way home to Cornwall.

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to enjoy the tour as it happens!

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