The Manolis Kalomiris festival, the annual music and theater festival held on the island of Samos, will kick off on Saturday with a classical music concert by the Athens State Orchestra. The festival, which will run to August 18, is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Although the program focuses on classical music, it will also include theater performances and a photography exhibition with events take place at different venues in Vathi, Pythagoreion and Karlovasi. The festival was founded at the initiative of the local authorities on Samos, based on the vision of native composer Manolis Kalomiris, who wanted to promote Greek entechno music in his homeland. It was Kalomiris’s granddaughter, Hara Kalomiri, who came up with the initial idea and is currently president of the festival’s committee. Over the past 10 years, the festival has provided local audiences with an opportunity to attend performances by acclaimed symphony orchestras and high-caliber theater companies, according to its artistic director Elena Mouzala. The Athens State Orchestra will mark the official opening with a program of works by Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak, under the baton of Nikos Tsouchlos and with the participation of violinist Dimitris Semsis. The concert is to take place in the courtyard of the Porphyreiada School in Karlovasi. Further concerts include a performance by piano duo Maxim Mogilevsky and Svetlana Smolina, who will interpret various piano works at Vathi Town Hall on July 29. Opera fans will be delighted with the opera gala which is to be held at the Doryssa seaside resort in Pythagoreion on August 9, with French soprano Elizabeth Vidal and French baritone Andre Cognet, accompanied by pianist Dimitris Yiakas. The gala will include a tribute to Mozart, as well as arias from French operas and arias composed by Kalomiris. Fans of theater will not be disappointed either. Aeschylus’ tragedy «The Persians,» a performance focusing on the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks in the 5th century BC which is also to be staged at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus tomorrow and on Saturday, will go on stage at the Pythagoreion high school on July 27 and 28. The National Theater production is directed by Lydia Koniordou, who also stars as Queen Atossa, alongside Christos Loulis, who plays the part of Xerxes. On August 1, the Carmen Ruggeri Children’s Theater will present a children’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic «The Taming of the Shrew,» directed by Carmen Ruggeri, in the courtyard of the Porphyreiada School in Karlovasi. A photography exhibition, revealing much-loved but also not so well-known aspects of Samos, by Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris (great-grandson of Manolis Kalomiris) will also go on display, first at Karlovasi Town Hall between August 2 and 9 and then at the Doryssa seaside resort in Pythagoreion from August 11 to 18. The festival’s parallel events include an aria-singing seminar by Elizabeth Vidal between August 7 and 11. For further information, tel 22730.80005, 210.524.8304.