It's been 14 years since Trans-Siberian Orchestra debuted with the single "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo/1224)," inspiring generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera.
TSO has sold more than seven million copies of its first four rock operas -- 1996's CHRISTMAS EVE & OTHER STORIES, 1998's THE CHRISTMAS ATTIC, BEETHOVEN'S LAST NIGHT in 2000, and THE LOST CHRISTMAS EVE in 2004. On the road, meanwhile, they have become one of the world's top touring acts, with a $20 million-plus production that by 2009 played to over 7 million people in 80+ cities, selling more than $280 million worth of tickets. And, oh yeah, there was that crazy beer ad with the insanely decorated Christmas house whose lights were synced to TSO's "Wizards in Winter."
Now TSO is taking us to a bold and exciting new place -- NIGHT CASTLE.
"Our fans have been unbelievably patient," TSO founder, producer and writer Paul O'Neill says -- and that's an understatement. O'Neill and company began working on NIGHT CASTLE in 2005, after all, and every year since he's found himself answering questions about when it would be finished. "It definitely got out of control," O'Neill says with a laugh. TSO even released the NIGHT CASTLE track "Night Enchanted" via Amazon.com in 2008 just to show fans that new music really was being created.
But the wait was worth it.
A sweeping two-disc set whose 26 songs embrace hard rock theatrics, classical majesty, operatic beauty and chorale richness, NIGHT CASTLE is TSO's ultimate creative statement, a transcendent and enveloping experience built upon a gripping story with a resonant and timely message. As with its predecessors, the characters and narrative are sharply drawn and woven into the genre-splicing soundscape, conveying a wide gamut of emotions right up until the final twist at the tale's end.
"I've always believed that music has the power to transport," O'Neill explains. "The original concept of Trans-Siberian Orchestra was how to make music have the most emotional impact. We always try to write melodies so they're so infectious they don't need lyrics and lyrics so poetic and cutting they'll stand up in poetry books, but when you hear the two together you create an alloy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and you cannot imagine them apart."
"I just always want to find a way to make the music more engaging and have a deeper emotional impact."