Avantasia is a German heavy/power metal supergroup project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the band Edguy.
Avantasia is often referred to as a rock opera, as it features the participation of many renowned vocalists and musicians.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 three different installments.
The first is a self-titled single and two full-length albums with the subtitle The Metal Opera.
The second consists of the EPs Lost in Space Part I & II and the The Wicked Trilogy, composed of the albums The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon.
The third installment begins with the full-length album The Mystery of Time."The Metal Operas" (1999–2002)In Spring 1999, during Edguy's 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 finished he carried this plan out, recruiting well-known metal vocalists like Michael Kiske, Andre Matos, Kai Hansen, Rob Rock, David Defeis, Sharon den Adel, Bob Catley and Oliver Hartmann.
The project was recorded with a core band of four members, including Sammet on keyboards and orchestrations, Henjo Richter on guitar, Markus Grosskopf on bass and Alex Holzwarth on drums.
In 2001, a self-titled single and the first full-length album, The Metal Opera, were released.
The project was completed with the release of The Metal Opera Part II in September 2002."The Scarecrow" (2006–08)At the end of 2006, Sammet confirmed the rumours of a third Avantasia album, due for release in 2008.
Two EPs named Lost in Space Part I and Part II were released on November 19, 2007, while the full-length album, The Scarecrow, was released on January 25, 2008.
The Scarecrow marked the first chapter of "The Wicked Trilogy" concept and was also the first of many Avantasia releases to feature Sascha Paeth on the role of main guitarist and producer.
The album included guest performances by drummer Eric Singer, guitarists Henjo Richter and Rudolf Schenker and singers Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Alice Cooper, Roy Khan, Amanda Somerville and Oliver Hartmann."The Scarecrow World Tour" (2008)After the release of the The Scarecrow, Tobias Sammet was invited to perform a headlining show at Wacken Open Air, an offer that producer/guitarist Sascha Paeth convinced him to accept.
That led to 13 shows between July 5 and August 13.
The shows at Masters of Rock and Wacken Open Air were recorded and the live DVD The Flying Opera, based on the footage, was released in March 2011.TourdatesJune 5, 2008 Rocksound Festival SWITZERLANDJune 7, 2008 Sweden Rock Festival SWEDENJune 10, 2008 Moscow - DK Gorbunova RUSSIAJune 13, 2008 Tokyo - Shinagawa Prince Stellar JAPANJune 15, 2008 Mexico City - Circo Volador MEXICOJune 18, 2008 Buenos Aires - Obras ARGENTINAJune 20, 2008 Santiago - Caupolican CHILEJune 22, 2008 Sao Paulo - Credicard Hall BRAZILJuly 10, 2008 Masters of Rock CZECH REPUBLICJuly 24, 2008 Tirgu Mures - Felsziget Festival ROMANIAJuly 26, 2008 Rockin Field Festival ITALYAugust 1, 2008 Wacken Open Air GERMANYAugust 13, 2008 Sziget Festival HUNGARYTour membersTobias Sammet - vocalsAndre Matos - vocalsJørn Lande - vocalsKai Hansen - vocals (only shows in Europe)Bob Catley - vocals (only shows in Europe and Asia)Oliver Hartmann - vocals & guitarsAmanda Somerville - vocals & backing vocalsCloudy Yang - backing vocalsSascha Paeth - guitarsRobert Hunecke-Rizzo - bassMiro - keyboardsFelix Bohnke - drumsSetlistTwisted MindThe Scarecrow (Jorn Lande)Another Angel Down (Jorn Lande)Prelude/Reach out for the Light (Andre Matos)Inside (Andre Matos)No Return (Andre Matos)The Story Ain't Over (Bob Catley)Shelter from the Rain (Andre Matos, Bob Catley)Lost in Space (Amanda Sommerville)I Don't Believe in Your Love (Olli Hartmann)AvantasiaSerpents in Paradise (Jorn Lande)Promised Land (Jorn Lande)The Toy Master (Kai Hansen)Farewell (Amanda Sommerville)Sign of the Cross/The Seven Angels (Andre, Jorn, Catley, Amanda, Olli)"The Wicked Symphony" & "Angel of Babylon" (2009–10)In November 2009, Sammet announced that he was recording two new albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon, to be released on April 3, 2010.
The concept of the albums was a continuation of The Scarecrow story and these three albums together are often referred to as "The Wicked Trilogy".
The special guests included drummers Eric Singer, Alex Holzwarth and Felix Bohnke, guitarists Bruce Kulick and Oliver Hartmann, keyboardist Jens Johansson and vocalists Jørn Lande, Russell Allen, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Klaus Meine, Tim "Ripper" Owens, Jon Oliva, Andre Matos, Cloudy Yang and Ralf Zdiarstek.
The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon have scored high positions in various international music charts."The Metal Opera Comes to Town Tour" (2010–11)A 12 show tour of Europe, South America and Asia took place 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.
The ensemble was almost the same as on The Scarecrow Tour in 2008, with two changes.
Andre Matos was replaced by ex-Helloween and current Unisonic singer Michael Kiske.
With Kai Hansen also participating on this tour, there were a lot of instances when the two ex-Helloween members shared the same stage.
The second change was the fact that Cloudy Yang was not part of the line-up.Both tours were closely documented by Amanda Somerville on her YouTube channel.
The videos show various interesting backstage moments such as rehearsals, cancelled flights, or the ensemble travelling by a regular train.TourdatesNovember 30, 2010 - Z7, Pratteln, SwitzerlandDecember 1, 2010 - Z7, Pratteln, SwitzerlandDecember 3, 2010 - Stadthalle, Lichtenfels, GermanyDecember 4, 2010 - All Karthalle, Kaufbeuren, GermanyDecember 5, 2010 - Arenan, Stockholm, SwedenDecember 8, 2010 - Shinagawa Stellar Ball, Tokyo, JapanDecember 10, 2010 - Circo Volador, Mexico City, MexicoDecember 13, 2010 - CTN, São Paulo, BrazilDecember 15, 2010 - El Teatro, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaDecember 18, 2010 - Esperantohalle, Fulda, GermanyDecember 19, 2010 - Grugahalle, Essen, GermanyAugust 6, 2011 - Wacken Open Air, Wacken, GermanyTour membersTobias Sammet - vocalsMichael Kiske - vocalsJørn Lande - vocalsBob Catley - vocalsKai Hansen - vocals, guitarsOliver Hartmann - vocals, backing vocals, guitarsAmanda Somerville - vocals, backing vocalsSascha Paeth - guitars, backing vocalsMiro - keyboards, backing vocalsRobert Hunecke-Rizzo - bass, backing vocalsFelix Bohnke - drumsSetlistTwisted Mind (vocals: Tobias SammetThe Scarecrow (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Jørn Lande)Promised Land (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Jørn Lande)Serpents in Paradise (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Jørn Lande)The Story Ain't Over (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley)PreludeReach Out for the Light (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)The Tower (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)Death Is Just a Feeling (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Kai Hansen)Lost in Space (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Amanda Somerville)In Quest For (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley)Runaway Train (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley, Jørn Lande)Dying for an Angel (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)Stargazers (vocals: Oliver Hartmann, Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske)Farewell (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Amanda Somerville)The Wicked Symphony (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Jørn Lande, Oliver Hartmann)The Toy Master (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Kai Hansen)Shelter From the Rain (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, 3rd guitar Kai Hansen)Avantasia (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, 3rd guitar Kai Hansen)Medley: Sign of the Cross/The Seven Angels (vocals: complete ensemble, 3rd guitar Kai Hansen)"The Mystery of Time" (2012-13)In August 2012 Sammet announced that "I didn‘t foresee how much I need Avantasia when I decided to finish this chapter of my life in 2011.
After the worldwide success of the latest studio releases, an arena world tour that was sold out pretty much everywhere, collaborations with childhood heroes...I 'knew' that I had said everything I could possibly say in the name of Avantasia.
But that's not what Avantasia is all about.
I wanna create more great music, I wanna create more fantasy-worlds, the bigger and the more epic, the better.
And listening to the material that I have created for this forthcoming chapter in the history of Avantasia, I know there is no way I am not going to do it! I have got the feeling and the certainty, that this is absolutely meant to happen and to be."During December 2012, it was revealed on Sammet's Avantasia website that the new album would be called The Mystery of Time and was due for release on March 30, 2013.
The Mystery of Time marked the beginning of a new concept and was the first Avantasia release to feature the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.
The album included guest performances by drummer Russell Gilbrook, guitarists Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann and Arjen Anthony Lucassen, while the guest vocalists were Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford, Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Bob Catley and Cloudy Yang.
The Mystery Of Time scored the highest positions of any Avantasia release in several international music charts and even enabled the project to enter the US Billboard charts for the very first time."The Mystery World Tour" and possible last show (2013-14)Avantasia's biggest world tour took place between April and August 2013.
The tour consisted of 30 concerts and included 7 headlining festival appearances in Europe, one festival performance in Canada and three hour long shows in South America, Japan, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Holland.According to Sammet: "I wanna put on the biggest thing you have ever seen, I wanna bring more vocalists, play longer shows, and just make it a giant Rock Opera.
I love to headline festivals, you run over people in 90 minutes and kick ass.
But I also like to do our own Avantasia indoor tour because we can make it much more Avantasia oriented and play almost three hours...It will be huge."Avantasia's touring ensemble included Sascha Paeth (guitars), Oliver Hartmann (guitars, vocals), Felix Bohnke (drums), Andre Neygenfind (bass), Miro (Keyboards) and vocalists Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Thomas Rettke and Amanda Somerville.TourdatesApril 12, 2013 - PPM-Festival, Mons, BelgiumApril 13, 2013 - Z7, Pratteln, SwitzerlandApril 14, 2013 - Z7, Pratteln, SwitzerlandApril 16, 2013 - Alcatraz, Milan, ItalyApril 18, 2013 - MPH Arena, Ludwigsburg, GermanyApril 19, 2013 - All-Karthalle, Kaufbeuren, GermanyApril 20, 2013 - Esperantohalle, Fulda, GermanyApril 22, 2013 - Tempodrom, Berlin, GermanyApril 23, 2013 - Große Freiheit, Hamburg, GermanyApril 25, 2013 - Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, GermanyApril 26, 2013 - Stadthalle, Lichtenfels, GermanyMay 10, 2013 - Melkweg, Amsterdam, NetherlandsMay 31, 2013 - Sonisphere Festival, Madrid, SpainJune 1, 2013 - Sonisphere Festival, Barcelona, SpainJune 8, 2013 - Sweden Rock Festival, Sölvesborg, SwedenJune 21, 2013 - Hellfest, Clisson, FranceJune 23, 2013 - Arena Moscow, Moscow, RussiaJune 25, 2013 - El Teatro, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaJune 27, 2013 - Teatro Caupolican, Santiago, ChileJune 29, 2013 - HSBC Hall, Sao Paulo, BrazilJuly 1, 2013 - Royal Center, Bogotá, ColombiaJuly 3, 2013 - Peppers, San Jose, Costa RicaJuly 5, 2013 - Circo Volador, Mexico City, MexicoJuly 7, 2013 - Le Festival d'ete de Quebec, Quebec, CanadaJuly 10, 2013 - Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball, Tokyo, JapanJuly 13, 2013 - Rockharz Festival, Ballenstedt, GermanyJuly 14, 2013 - Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech RepublicAugust 8, 2013 - Snina Opean Air Festival, Snina, SlovakiaAugust 10, 2013 - Bloodstock Open Air Festival, Walton-on-Trent, United KingdomTour membersTobias Sammet - vocalsMichael Kiske - vocalsBob Catley - vocalsRonnie Atkins - vocals (only shows in Europe and Japan)Eric Martin - vocalsThomas Rettke - vocalsOliver Hartmann - vocals, backing vocals, guitarsAmanda Somerville - vocals, backing vocalsSascha Paeth - guitars, backing vocalsMiro - keyboards, backing vocalsAndre Neygenfind – bass, backing vocalsFelix Bohnke - drumsSetlistSpectres (vocals: Tobias Sammet)Invoke the Machines (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Ronnie Atkins)Black Orchid (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Ronnie Atkins)Reach Out for the Light (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)Breaking Away (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)The Story Ain't Over (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley)The Great Mystery (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley)Scales of Justice (vocals: Thomas Rettke)What's Left of Me (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Eric Martin)Promised Land (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Eric Martin)Sleepwalking (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Amanda Sommerville)The Scarecrow (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Ronnie Atkins)Stargazers (vocals: Oliver Hartmann, Ronnie Atkins, Michael Kiske)Farewell (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Amanda Sommerville, Michael Kiske)Shelter From the Rain (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley)In Quest For (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley)The Wicked Symphony (vocals: Bob Catley, Thomas Rettke, Oliver Hartmann, Amanda Somerville)Lost in Space (vocals: Tobias Sammet)Dying For an Angel (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Eric Martin)Savior in the Clockwork (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Eric Martin, Ronnie Atkins, Michael Kiske)Twisted Mind (vocals: Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin)Avantasia (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske)The Seven Angels (vocals: Tobias Sammet, Oliver Hartmann, Michael Kiske)Sign of the Cross (vocals: complete ensemble)With two shows remaining for the end of the tour, Tobias held a press conference in which he announced that Avantasia will make a headline performance at Wacken Open Air Festival in 2014.
Tobias also suggested that this could be a farewell performance and that no further live Avantasia activities are planned for the near future: