2001 - The Metal Opera Part I
Information Avantasia The Metal Opera I
Michael Kiske sings on: "Reach Out For The Light", "Breaking Away", "Farewell", "Avantasia" and "The Tower".
Jens Ludwig (Edguy) (lead on tracks 12 & 13)
Norman Meiritz (acoustic on track 6)
Frank Tischer (Piano on track 11)
Gabriel Laymann - Tobias Sammet (Edguy) - tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 & 13
Lugaid Vandroiy - Michael Kiske (credited as Ernie) (ex-Helloween) - tracks 2, 5, 6, 9, & 13
Friar Jakob - David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) - tracks 3 & 13
Bailiff Falk von Kronberg - Ralf Zdiarstek - tracks 4 & 7
Anna Held - Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) - track 6
Bishop Johann von Bicken - Rob Rock (ex Axel Rudi Pell, ex Angelica, ex Warrior, Driver, Impellitteri) - track 7 & 12
Pope Clement VIII - Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance) - tracks 7, 12 & 13
Elderane the Elf - Andre Matos (Symfonia, ex-Shaaman, ex-Angra, ex-Viper) - tracks 11, 12 & 13
Regrin the Dwarf - Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) - tracks 11 & 12
Voice of the Tower - Timo Tolkki (Symfonia, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Stratovarius) - track 13
The History Behind
In 1998, Tobias has written a history and he was ready to start recording the albums with some of their heroes playing different characters and one important was Lugaid Vandroiy, the mentor of Tobi's character Gabriel. So he tried to get Kiske in the project: "It was very difficult to get in contact with Michael Kiske. Since I'm really a big admirer of his voice. I tried to get in contact first with Basti of the Gamma Ray fanclub but this didn't work and I just phoned Roland Grapow and asked him for Michael's number. Then I send him the material and he first said that it is not really the stuff that he wanted to do."
Tobias kept phoning Michael requesting his advice for some tracks and he was also answering him if he changed his mind and really don't want to do it. Kiske explained: "One day Tobias called me about this project and he wanted to know if I wanted to contribute anything. I denied, and I explained him that I was not into that kind of thing anymore. I initially refused joking, I said: 'I agree, but only if you call me Ernie!' But Tobi kept calling me, asking me if I had changed my mind. After a while I gave in and listened to the music because he was talking so exciting and passionate about it. I told him that it wasn't my kind of music but it was at least honest. And I really liked the kid, so I agreed to do him a favor by doing some vocals. He also reminds me of what I was doing myself when I was still in Helloween. When he asked me the first time, I was still in the state of rather fading out the rock/metal-world, that's why I called myself Ernie on the album. I was not sure if it would be good to use my name on it because it could confuse fans, they could believe I was going to make that kind of music in the future. So I did it and it was fun. I also wanted to show people that I was not refusing of my metal past."
Musicians about The Metal Opera I
Timo Tolkki commented (Burrn! magazine 2002): "I enjoy the album very much, but I don't really consider myself "participating" in the album, because I just spoke a few lines. I didn't want to do the role of devil, and asked Tobias if there was any other role than this. Unfortunately it was the only role available and I did it because he is a good friend. Tobias is a very talented composer, and the album is very melodic. Melody is very important for me."
Musicians who rejected
Tobias commented about this musicians in different interviews: "I wanted Tarja, and she was planned, but she canceled with a short note due to time schedule problems... Yes, I phone for example Halford and Dickinson. Mostly they told me time schedule problems as the reason for rejecting the offer (at least that’s what they told me)... Originally I wanted Ronnie James Dio as Pope, but at that time he was on tour and had no time for it. Then I tried to get the former Black Sabbath Singer Tony Martin, but he was not interested in doing anything related with Heavy Metal... Hansi of Blind Guardian could not do it because he was working with Demons & Wizards and his band was waiting for him to work in A Night At The Opera... Daniel Zimmerman was to record the drumms but he didn't have time because he had to work with Freedom Call.
Often you just recognize the sense later, but I believe that the line-up that is now on the record - and I don’t say this to protect the people who are on it- is the best cast for this record. I do not believe in coincidence, I believe that it has it’s that sense some people cancelled their participation. I think that anyone who is on the record, gives the album a special feeling."