The idea for Avantasia was born during the recordings of the Edguy Album ‘Vain Glory Opera’, in which Tobi invited Hanis Kürsch as a guest singer and he liked the idea to write music for different voices. Later the idea became more concrete and he wanted some of his big idols to participate in this new project. After several requests, finaly Michael Kiske accepted to participate in this heavy metal record, but due to separating from the metal scene at that time, he wanted to use the pseudonym ‘ERNIE’. In interviews and in listening sessions this pseudonym was almost never mentioned, so the people know from the beginning, that it was Michael Kiske who sang on this record. The name Avantasia is a combination of the words ‘Avalon’ and ‘Fantasia’.
The following guest musicians participated in the first Metal Opera albums: Tobias Sammet (Edguy), Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween), David DeFeis (Virgin Steele), Ralf Zdiarstek, Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Rob Rock, Oliver Hartmann, Andre Matos, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Timo Tolkki, Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray), Markus Großkopf (Helloween), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire)
In 2008, Tobias sammet decided to do another Avantasia album and with a complete new storyline, but of course some of the old colleagues were invited again. Michael Kiske took part on the Avantasia album The Scarecrow, singing lead vocals on the track “Shelter from the Rain” and backing vocals on the title track and on “What Kind Of Love”. Before the full lenght album was released, 2 EP’s were released, which included a lot of bonus material, like cover versions or alternative non album tracks. They were called ‘Lost in Space’ part 1 and ‘Lost in Space’ part 2. Michael Kiske sang on ‘Promised Land’ on ‘Lost in Space’ part 2. Another alternative version was released as a digital only release with the Michael Kiske version of the track ‘Lost in Space’.
Guest vocalists: Roy Khan (ex Kamelot), Jørn Lande (Jorn, Masterplan), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic), Bob Catley (Magnum), Amanda Somerville, Alice Cooper (Alice Cooper), Oliver Hartmann
Guest musicians: Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray), Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions), Sascha Paeth, Tobias Sammet, Felix Bohnke (Edguy), Eric Singer (Kiss), Michael “Miro” Rodenberg
The ‘Scarecrow’ storyline was finishied in 2010 with 2 more albums ‘Wicked Symphony’ and ‘Angel of Babylon’. Again Michael Kiske took part in this record and sang lead vocals in ‘Wastelands’, ‘Stargazers’ and ‘Runaway Train’.
Musicians: Tobias Sammet (Edguy), Sascha Paeth, Eric Singer (Kiss), Miro, Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Oliver Hartmann, Felix Bohnke (Edguy), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire)
Guest Singers: Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex Helloween),Russell Allen (Symphony X), Bob Catley (Magnum), Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Tim “Ripper” Owens, André Matos, Ralf Zdiarstek