Education Prize 2021


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ARCADIA - Academy for Music & Theater in Silesia

Academia Ars Augusta

Arcadia - Academy for Music and Theater in Silesia

Reviving a historical and extraordinary piece of architecture amidst the landscape of Silesia by means of an "international Academy for Music and Theater".


The border region in the triangle between Lower Silesia (Poland), Bohemia (Czech Republic) and Lusatia (Germany) is often called „Arcadia“ because of its abundance of historical sites all over its beautiful landscape. This region once was bursting with energy of all kinds, cultural, economic and political, but since the end of WWII, it is still waiting to be „kissed back into life again".

The European strategy for regional development seeks to combine culture with tourism while considering ecological demands. From this perspective we will contribute by initiating an International Academy for Music and Theater.

Young singers, musicians and actors from all over the world will not only study with experienced stage directors and artists famous works from the European music & opera history, but also rediscover and perform forgotten masterpieces from the local cultural heritage by experimenting with new and sustainable ways of performing opera, involving local craftsmen and artisans in the production process.

The central place of the project will be the “Pearl of Żeliszów“, a beautiful abandoned former German Protestant church built in 1796 by Carl Langhans in classicist style, meanwhile famous through the internet as a “lost place“ with a magical light. In the year 2013 a group of young Polish artists created the foundation “Your Heritage“ in order to save this gem from decay. The foundation soon became the owner of the place, and in 2018 a fruitful collaboration was established with the German society "Ars Augusta e.V." in order to transform the former church into a multicultural arena, especially for music and theatre. In 2020 an international academy workshop took place with Madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi, culminating in a public concert for donations. Now renovation works are proceeding, and soon we will change the status of this place from “lost“ to “found again“.

ARCADIA seeks to give new life and meaning to "the Pearl“ by filling it with music and energy, thus turning it into a symbol of resurrection and new positive spirit for the whole region.

These are the three projects that our Academy wants to pursue in case of winning the Fedora prize:

  1. “The birth of the German opera“, a workshop on the poetry of Martin Opitz and the music of Heinrich Schütz.
    Martin Opitz, a Silesian poet, and Heinrich Schütz, a Saxonian musician, created the very first German opera “Dafne“, which unfortunately got lost. But a lot of wonderful madrigals composed by the two baroque artists still exist. A workshop on these madrigals with Enrique Gomez-Cabrero Fernandez and Marie Kuijken will end with a performance with costumes and lights in „The Pearl“ (June 2021) . The project has partly been financed by "Mitteldeutsche Barockmusik e.V." and the federal fund of the "Kulturreferat für Schlesien“-
  2. The rediscovery of the forgotten Italian baroque composer Antonio Bioni (1698–1739), who was composing for the opera of Wroclaw (Breslau).
    With an international premiere, ARCADIA will revive the opera “La pace far la virtú e la bellezza“ (1739) in “the Pearl“, touring all the small theatres in the region of Silesia in the aftermath (October 2021).
  3. Final project for the year 2022: “Orfeo“ by Claudio Monteverdi with stage director Piotr Jedrzejas and the “Lausitzer Barockensemble”.

All projects will be recorded and streamed online, a special brochure about the composers and their music will be released. The participants in the project may get recordings of the events and a diploma from the Academy.

Artistic Team

Artistic Director: Eleni loannidou, Opera singer and Producer, Chief of Ars-Augusta e.V. , founder of the "Lausitzer Barockensemble". In the course of her career she attended some of the most important academies as the "Academia della Scala di Milano" and the Academia „Il Teatro e la Musica“ of the European Community in Prato (Italy).

Assistant and logistics: Wilk Korwin-Szymanowski, Director of the foundation "Your heritage“ and administrator of the "Pearl of Zeliszow".

MusicaI direction: Enrique Gomez-Cabrero Fernandez, baroque-violinist and conductor, tutor, concertmaster of the Lausitzer Barockensemble. Enrique lives in real passion for early music and already conducted the first opera production of the "Academia Ars Augusta“, the rediscovered (after 300 years of oblivion) opera „Giove in Argo“ by Antonio Lotti, performed in 2019 at the "Palais im grossen Garten" in Dresden, Germany.

Stage director, tutor for the staging: Piotr Jedrzejas, former director of the "Norwid Theater" in Jelenia Gora, a well recognized theater-personality with great love for the music, the theater and open for innovative ideas and concepts.

Vocal Coach: Prof. Britta Schwarz, Alto, University of Music and Performing Arts, Dresden

Eleni Ioannidou

Eleni Ioannidou

Artistic Director

Enrique Gomez-Cabrero Fernandez

Enrique Gómez-Cabrero Fernández


Piotr Jędrzejas

Piotr Jędrzejas

Stage Director

Britta Schwarz

Britta Schwarz

Vocal Coach


Wilk Korwin-Szymanowski



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