Avantasia (The Metal Opera) is a two-part symphonic metal album written by Tobias Sammet, vocalist and frontman of the power metal group Edguy. The project's title is a mixture of the words avalon and fantasia (fantasy) and describes "a world beyond human imagination" (a quotation from the booklet). The project consists of two CDs containing 23 pieces, which tell a fictional story about a Dominican monk, Gabriel, in the early 17th century.
In Spring 1999, during Edguy's Theatre 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 Kai Hansen and the ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske. In 2000, the first EP with the name Avantasia – The Metal Opera was released. The project was completed in September 2002 with the release of The Metal Opera Pt. II. fd