Book this self-guided tour with audio guide and discover the National Center of Stage Costume (CNCS), the only place in the world dedicated to stage costumes. Its mission is the preservation, study, and enhancement of 10 000 theater, opera, and ballet costumes, not to mention stage sets, provided by the three founding institutions of the Center, namely the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Comédie Française, and the Opéra national de Paris.
Located in Moulins, at approximately 3 hours from Paris, the Center is housed in an XVIIIth century cavalry headquarters, one of the city’s historical monuments.
Moulins, which was strategically nestled between the historical provinces of Val de Loire and Lyonnais, was the capital of the Dukes of Bourbon during the XVIth century. The building was renovated for the opening of the National Center of Stage Costumes by François Voinchet, the Chief architect of the Monuments Historiques, Jacques Brudin, a local architect, and Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the well-known Parisian architect.
Since 2013, the National Center of Stage Costumes has opened a permanent space dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest dancers and choreographers in the XXth century. To honour the Russian star’s last wishes, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation donated some 3 000 articles to the Center: Nureyev’s stage costumes, personal outfits, pictures, paintings, and lithographs, as well as a partial reconstruction of his living room from his apartment on Quai Voltaire in Paris, are on display.
The National Center of Stage Costumes presents two temporary exhibitions each year.