Avantasia

Avantasia is a heavy metal/power metal supergroup project created by Tobias Sammetvocalist and frontman of the band Edguy. The project’s title is a portmanteau of the words “avalon” and “fantasia” (“fantasy“) and describes “a world beyond human imagination” (a quotation from the booklet). The project consists of a self-titled single, two full-length albums with the subtitle The Metal Opera, two EPs called Lost in Space, andScarecrow trilogy, composed of The ScarecrowThe Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon.

“The Metal Operas” (1999–2002)

In Spring 1999, during Theater of Salvation tour, Tobias Sammet began to write down his ideas for a metal opera, a concept album with many guest musicians. When the tour was finished, he carried this plan out, recruiting well-known metal players like ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske,Andre MatosKai Hansen, and Rob Rock (ex Axel Rudi Pell, ex Angelica, ex Warrior, Driver, Impellitteri). The project was recorded with a core band of four members – Sammet playing keyboards and arranging orchestration, Henjo Richter playing guitar, Markus Grosskopf playing bass, andAlex Holzwarth on drums. In 2001, the self-titled single and the first full-length album, The Metal Opera, was released. The project was completed in September 2002 with the release of The Metal Opera Part II.

“The Scarecrow” (2006–08)

At the end of 2006, Sammet confirmed the rumours of a third Avantasia album, due for release in 2008. On March 24, 2007, the name was confirmed to be “The Scarecrow”.[1] The Scarecrow is a new story, unrelated to the previous, and tells of a lonely scarecrow seeking company in friends. The album was released on January 25, 2008, and includes special guests Rudolf Schenker,Sascha Paethdrummer Eric Singer, and singers Bob CatleyJørn LandeMichael KiskeAlice CooperRoy KhanAmanda Somerville and Oliver Hartmann.[1]

“The Scarecrow World Tour” (2008)

After the release of the The Scarecrow, Tobias Sammet was invited to do a headling show at Wacken Open Air, to which producer/guitarist Sascha Paeth contributed in convincing Sammet. That led to 13 shows between July 5 and August 13. Shows on Masters of Rock and Wacken Open Air were recorded and a live DVD The Flying Opera based on the footage was released later in March 2011.

“The Wicked Symphony” & “Angel of Babylon” (2009–10)

In November 2009, Sammet announced the release of two new albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon, to be released on April 3, 2010.[2] The story is set as a continuation of The Scarecrow album and these three albums together are often referred to as The Wicked Trilogy.[3] Some of the special guests include: drummers Eric SingerAlex Holzwarth and Felix Bohnke, keyboardist Jens Johansson of Stratovarius, as well as vocalists Michael KiskeBob CatleyJørn LandeTim “Ripper” OwensKlaus MeineRussell AllenAndre Matos and Jon Oliva.[4]

“The Metal Opera Comes to Town Tour” (2010–11)

Avantasia 2010, Kaufbeuren (Germany)

Short (and the first Avantasia-only) tour was done during December 2010, with the exception of one concert at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2011. The concerts lasted for almost three hours and many of them were sold out days before.[5] The ensemble was almost the same as on The Scarecrow Tour in 2008, with just a minor changes. Amanda Somerville was the only female vocalist. Cloudy Yang, who was singing alongside Amanda during the 2008 tour, did not appear on the stage this time. The second change in the ensemble was missing Andre Matos, who was replaced by ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske. With Kai Hansen also participating on this tour, there was a lot of moments when two ex-Helloween singers shared the same stage singing together.

Both tours were closely documented by Amanda Somerville on her YouTube channel.[6] The videos show various interesting backstage moments such as rehearsals, cancelled flights, or the ensemble travelling by a regular train.

Band members

Current members/The Wicked Trilogy

  • Tobias Sammet
    • Lead vocals (1999–present)
    • Bass guitar (2007–present)
    • Keyboards (1999–2002)
  • Sascha Paeth
    • Guitars (2006–present)
    • Producer (2006–present)
  • Eric Singer
    • Drums (2002, 2006–present)
    • Vocals (2007)
  • Miro
    • Keyboards (2006–present)
    • Orchestration (2006–present)

The Metal Opera members

The Scarecrow World Tour (2008)

The Metal Opera Comes to Town Tour (2010)

Avantasia 2010, Stockholm (Sweden)

Discography

• 2000 – Avantasia
• 2001 – The Metal Opera Part I
• 2002 – The Metal Opera Part II
• 2007 – Lost In Space Part I (EP)
• 2007 – Lost In Space Part II (EP)
• 2008 – The Scarecrow
• 2010 – The Wicked Symphony
• 2010 – Angel of Babylon

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