STRATOVARIUS Guitarist TOLKKI Working On 'Rock Opera' Solo Album

STRATOVARIUS mainman/guitarist Timo Tolkki has issued the following update:

"[My new solo album] 'Saana - Warrior of Light' is a work in progress.

"[For the past] two years I have had this idea in my head and it won't leave me be. It will be a rock opera, but not in a sense that many of the records using 'rock or metal opera' are. All the singers in this are carefully chosen and I have been auditioning singers already six months. So it's not just that I invite some famous names to sing something. The character that sings the part really has to fit and feel the meaning of the music and lyrics. I have spent quite some time with the top candidates to get to know them personally. This is very important when I will write the music. And I prefer them to be new talents.

"During Christmas I have been writing the story and it just pours out of me. I am writing it in Finnish, but I will translate it in English after it's ready. I have been negotiating with several record companies about this release and the interest has been very good. There will be a press release in about a month and a website dedicated for this project. Then the cast will be revealed as well.

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"There have been some rumours about Tarja Turunen (ex-NIGHTWISH) playing the main role but those are untrue. Although I first wanted a Finnish person for the main role, the story has evolved so much that it is not necessary anymore."

Tolkki and STRATOVARIUS drummer Jörg Michael recently completed the basic demos in Germany for the band's new album (whose title consists of two separate words that both start with "R"). The actual album recordings are expected to begin on February 25, 2007 at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland for a tentative late 2007/early 2008 release.

STRATOVARIUS' latest, self-titled effort was released in the U.S. in September 2005 via Sanctuary. A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot in April 2005 in Helsinki by director and Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

Tolkki is currently producing the debut album from the Madrid, Spain-based metal band INFERNOISE. The CD was recorded in Madrid and will mixed at Sonic Pump.

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