If you find yourself in France during the next few months, visit the Centre National du Costume de Sc?ne et de la?Sc?nographie (CNCS)?for its "Behind the Scenes" exhibition (l'envers du d?cor). The special exhibit, which runs through May 2012, features French theater sets of the 19th century.
Famous stage sets from elaborate productions of the past will be on display, such as the enchanted forest of Filippo?Taglioni's ballet La?Sylphide, the Vulcan's temple in?A?da, or the temple in?Samson et?Dalila, by Camille?Saint-Sa?ns.
For a glimpse into the internal workings of the stage, visitors will be able to touch and manipulate actual stage machinery as well as learn how special effects were accomplished. Drawings and paintings of set designs and 3D models dating from the 19th century will also be on hand for viewing.
The?CNCS is a museum dedicated to the preservation of theater costumes and stage sets of the?Op?ra?National de Paris, the?Com?die-Fran?aise?and other French?theaters. It takes about 2.5 hours by train from Paris to reach the museum in?Moulins?in Auvergne. The museum is open daily.