->''"You're suddenly rather grateful of the explicatory notes -- making sense has never been foremost on Townshend's list of rock-opera priorities."''
-->--'''Alexis Petridis''' on Music/TheWho's ''Endless Wire''

The Rock Opera is the rock ConceptAlbum taken to its logical conclusion: telling a single, complete story mostly--if not entirely--sung from one or more characters' points of view.

The "opera"-ness of the form varies significantly. Some present the point of view of a single (possibly unnamed) character, while others have explicitly-named characters interacting with each other in song (and likely performed by different singers). TheOtherWiki's entry for ''Music/{{Tommy}}'' suggests that "rock cantata" or "rock song cycle" might be a more accurate term, since a rock opera is purely a musical performance that is not intended to be staged or acted out. This is odd, since ''Tommy'' was the [[UrExample first]] [[TropeMakers widely]] [[TropeCodifier heard]] Rock Opera, and was farther on the opera side of this scale.

Especially popular rock operas tend to get adapted as TheMusical, although as there may be staging difficulties or only one or two characters with singing parts, [[PragmaticAdaptation changes]] are often made. A few skip the whole "concept album" phase and are written explicitly for the stage.

This sometimes marks the JumpingTheShark point of the band or the band's dissolution, especially if only one musician wants to do a rock opera and the others don't. (See: Music/{{Styx}}.)

A recent subgenre of the Rock Opera is the UrbanOpera or "hip-hopera," concept albums and musicals telling stories using hip-hop instead of rock music. A well-known example of hip-hopera would be Music/RKelly's epic, ongoing "Music/TrappedInTheCloset," with 22 chapters and counting. However, rappers are more likely to have a story-telling song or two on each album than dedicate one entirely.

Not to be confused with the Black Mages' version of the opera from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' in their third album, Darkness and Starlight, wherein they set the operatic (Japanese) lyrics from the original game to a blistering heavy metal interpretation of the original music -- though this only constitutes a single 15-minute track from the album.

See RockOperaPlot for a plot trope specific and common to these. See RockOperas for an index of rock operas that have pages on TVTropes.
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!!Examples

* ''2112'' is the most well-known of Music/{{Rush}}'s operatic suites, but the group has produced a number of others, including ''By-Tor and the Snow Dog'', ''Xanadu'', ''The Fountain of Lamneth'', ''Cygnus X-1'', ''Hemispheres'' and ''The Necromancer'' (which contains several ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings LOTR]]'' [[ShoutOut references]]).
** They also did a trilogy of pieces collectively called "fear" (yes, lower-case "f" and all). Strangely, the three parts were not only on three different albums, but appeared ''in reverse order'' of their numbering.
*** Then they put a semi-official "Part 4" on ''Vapor Trails'' years after the other three parts were released.
** ''Cygnus X-1'' and ''Hemispheres'' could be considered companion pieces, as the hero from the former shows up in the middle of the latter [[spoiler:after his ship is destroyed by the titular black hole.]]
** Their 2012 album ''Music/ClockworkAngels'' was their first concept album since ''Hemispheres'', and adapted into a novel by sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson. In turn, drummer Neil Peart reads the audiobook adaptation of the novel.
* ''Ambo'' by [[VideoGame/{{MYST}} Robyn Miller]] and Keith Moore. Seen [[http://tinselman.com/ambo.html here.]]
* ''Music/AmericanIdiot'' and ''Music/TwentyFirstCenturyBreakdown'' by Music/GreenDay.
* Music/ArjenAnthonyLucassen's band Music/{{Ayreon}} is built on this trope. ALL his works tie together, somehow- at least, right up through the current album, 01011001, wherein it may or may not be AllJustADream. Of course, Arjen loves to fuck with our perceptions of reality like this- his first album as Ayreon, The Final Experiment, tells a (presumably fictitious god we hope) story about visions of man's doom in 2084 being sent back to a blind minstrel in Arthurian England. That whole album is a musically-rendered tale of CassandraTruth. His successive works are... just as strange, in particular Into the Electric Castle. Amazing storytelling, trippy story. If you can actually FIND his work anywhere, give it a listen (but make sure you've got a couple hours free, he likes double albums).
** Arjen Also gives us his latest solo project ''Music/LostInTheNewReal'' (2012), which is about a man awaking in the far future finding his terminal illness cured. The new world blurs the lines of the real and the online, the virtual, and he explores this world, falls in love with a futuristic version of clippy, and begins to question what is actually real. In the end, after going through an existential crisis, [[spoiler:he figures out he's just a machine himself, a mind experiment that isn't real, and asks to be shut off.]]
* Tobias Sammet's Music/{{Avantasia}} project is also this. Over six albums there are three different stories: ''The Metal Opera'' (The Metal Opera Parts I & II), which is about a 1600's monk of the Dominican Order who starts out trying to save his sister from witchcraft accusations and winds up having to save the world of imagination (called Avantasia) as well. ''The Wicked Trilogy'' (The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon) is a more ambiguous story about an unnamed artist dealing with his vices in the face of success, and ''The Mystery of Time'' is about a scientist in a haunted Victorian English town who has to deal with the conflict of his emotions and reasoning, mysterious dreams, an eccentric nobleman, the apparent evaporation of time, and a clock that he just can't fix (it leaves on a cliffhanger but a sequel was confirmed).
* ''Ashtray Rock'' by the [[Music/JoelPlaskett Joel Plaskett Emergency]] has an atypically simple plot for a rock opera: two guys fight over a girl and break up their band.
* The album Elodia by goth band Lacrimosa. It's a story of a couple getting estranged then back together.
* ''Music/DaysOfRisingDoom'' by the supergroup Aina, bonus points as it was their ''only'' album.
* Pretty much every album by Music/CoheedAndCambria tells the story of ''The Armory Wars'' (the band name itself is part of the plot).
* ''[[Music/ArthurOrTheDeclineAndFallOfTheBritishEmpire Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)]]'' by Music/TheKinks
* {{Music/Savatage}} released three rock operas: ''Music/StreetsARockOpera'', ''Music/DeadWinterDead'', and ''Music/TheWakeOfMagellan''. A song off ''Dead Winter Dead'', "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24", became a surprise hit and inspired them to experiment further with the style, [[MorePopularSpinoff leading to...]]
* Music/TransSiberianOrchestra. TSO exists to write rock operas, most of which are Christmas themed. Their rock operas are ''Christmas Eve and Other Stories'' (1996), ''The Christmas Attic'' (1998), ''Music/BeethovensLastNight'' (2000), and ''The Lost Christmas Eve'' (2004). The aforementioned "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24" is now universally known as a TSO song.
* Series/BaltimoreRockOperaSociety: A Maryland theater troupe of young artists and musicians who put together wholly original rock operas designed to be the craziest type of theater experience ever conceived.
* ''Music/TheBlackParade'' by Music/MyChemicalRomance
* ''Music/BlowsAgainstTheEmpire'' by Paul Kantner of Music/JeffersonAirplane was one of the earliest, released in 1970, only a year after ''Music/{{Tommy}}''. It is the story of how a rag-tag band of hippies hijack a starship, and was nominated for a HugoAward as best science-fiction work of the year in the "dramatic presentation" category--usually reserved for movies.
* ''The Broken Bride'' by Music/{{Ludo}} (known usually for songs such as "Love Me Dead" and "Good Will Hunting By Myself") is the heartrending, mindboggling journey of a [[MadScientist grieving scientist]] who travels through time to try and save his dead wife, fighting pterodactyls and zombies along the way.
* ''So Far From Home'', ''The Light Of Things Hoped For'', and ''Anti-Meridian'' by BraveSaintSaturn all tell the story of a NASA mission to Saturn that goes the way of Apollo 13.
* ''The Chronicle of the Black Sword'' by Music/{{Hawkwind}}, based on [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melnibone]] and composed with Michael Moorcock's cooperation
* ''The Crimson Idol'' and ''The Neon God'' by WASP
* ''Le dimensioni del mio caos'', by rapper Music/{{Caparezza}}. A time traveling hippie ends up conforming to modern society, and the album ends with an alternate history where prehistoric Bonobos surpass humans on the evolutionary scale.
* ''Music/TheDownwardSpiral'' and ''Music/YearZero'', by Music/NineInchNails
* ''Dead Beat'', by Music/RufusRex.
* ''Dreams In The Witch House'', by Platform Studios, Polar Studios and the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.
* Every single GWAR album. Significant in that several albums have corresponding ''movies'':
** ''America Must Be Destroyed'' has the movie ''Phallus in Wonderland''
** ''This Toilet Earth'' has ''Skulhedface''
** ''Music/RagNaRok'' has ''Rendezvous with [=RagNaRok=]''
** ''Carnival of Chaos'' has ''Dawn of the Day of the Night of the Penguins''
* ''Theatre/{{Hair}}'' by Ragni, Rado and [=McDermott=] was released as a Rock Opera after success as a {{Musical}}.
* ''Film/HedwigAndTheAngryInch''
* ''The Bastard'', by progressive metal band Hammers of Misfortune.
* ''Music/{{Hero}}'' is a Christian rock opera that asks "What if Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania?". It notably featured a number of major players in the Christian Rock world, such as former dcTalk member and current Newsboys frontrunner Michael Tait as the title character, along with John Cooper of Skillet, Audio Adrenaline's Mark Stuart, and Rebecca St. James.
* ''Imaginos'', by Music/BlueOysterCult.
** Almost all of the songs written for the group by its manager/lyricist Sandy Pearlman were part of an operatic MythArc, of which Imaginos is merely a ''fragment''.
* ''The Iron Man'', by Pete Townshend, based on the children's book known in the US as ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant''
* ''Music/IronSavior'' began as a one-off concept album featuring three German metal musicians, then eventually became a band in its own right, with each album continuing [[http://www.iron-savior.com/story.php a storyline]] revolving around a giant self-aware biomechanical spacecraft that was created to defend ancient Atlantis. Making them perhaps literally a SpaceOpera.
* ''Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar'', by Creator/AndrewLloydWebber and Creator/TimRice, began life as a Rock Opera, with Music/DeepPurple's Ian Gillan as Jesus, Murray Head as Judas and Yvonne Elliman as Mary.
** The work was also the namesake for ''Music/AntichristSuperstar'' by Music/MarilynManson, itself part of a triptych of rock operas, along with ''Music/MechanicalAnimals'' and ''Music/HolyWoodInTheShadowOfTheValleyOfDeath)''. Apparently the chronological order of the story is the reverse of the release dates of the albums. It's all really an extended version of ''Music/TheWall'' with more NightmareFuel.
*** Ironic, considering [[Music/PinkFloyd Roger Waters]]' enduring hatred of Creator/AndrewLloydWebber.
** Parodied in ''Series/MrShow'' as "Jeepers Creepers Semistar" with Creator/JackBlack in the title role.
* Music/FrankZappa's ''Music/JoesGarage'', ''Film/TwoHundredMotels'', ''Music/ThingFish'', ''Billy The Mountain'' on ''Music/JustAnotherBandFromLA'', ''The Adventures of Greggery Peccary'' on ''Music/StudioTan'' and ''Music/{{Lather}}'', and the seven minute mini-rock opera ''Brown Shoes Don't Make It'' from ''Music/AbsolutelyFree''.
* ''Music/JunoAndAvos'', a Soviet Rock Opera by Music/AlexeiRybnikov and Andrey Voznesenskiy.
* ''Music/TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'' by Music/{{Genesis}}
* ''Music/KilroyWasHere'' by Music/{{Styx}}
* ''Lifehouse'', initiated by Music/TheWho in 1970, ultimately released 30 years later as a Pete Townshend solo album. (Note that Townshend was quite prolific in this genre.) The aborted Who version of ''Lifehouse'' is considered by Townshend to form a trilogy with ''Psychoderelict'' and ''Wire and Glass'', each of which feature AuthorAvatar Ray High in different stages of his career.
* Music/MeatLoaf had two 10-minute operatic suites on his ''Music/BatOutOfHell'' album; the title track, which songwriter Jim Steinman described as "the ultimate car crash song", and ''Paradise on the Dashboard Light'', which he described as "the ultimate car ''sex'' song". Much of the rest of his music has [[EpicRocking an operatic feel to it]], if not necessarily a narrative progression, resulting in the term "Wagnerian rock" being coined to describe him.
** For good reason: Certain songs on the album were scavenged and rearranged from demos for a [[WhatCouldHaveBeen sadly-never-produced]] Peter Pan musical.
* ''Music/MetropolisPt2ScenesFromAMemory'' by Music/DreamTheater
** And the title track (i.e. entire second disc) of their ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' album.
* ''Nightfall in Middle-Earth'' by Music/BlindGuardian is somewhere between a Concept Album and a Rock Opera adaptation of Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', with operatic metal vocals and spoken interludes.
* ''Magica'' by Music/{{Dio}}
* ''Nostradamus'' by Music/JudasPriest
* ''The Novelist'' by Richard Swift is a surprisingly short example, taking only 27 minutes to tell the story of a writer undergoing a nervous breakdown.
* ''Music/OperationMindcrime'', and its sequel ''Operation: Mindcrime II'' by [[Music/{{Queensryche}} Queensr˙che]]
* ''Tyranny'' by Shadow Gallery
* ''Room V'' by Shadow Gallery
* ''Zen Arcade'' by Husker Du
* ''Hope Rides Alone'' and ''The Father of Death'' by Music/TheProtomen, two parts of an in-progress rock opera trilogy based on VideoGame/MegaMan.
* ''Psychoderelict'', by Pete Townshend
* ''Radio KAOS'', by Roger Waters
* Separation Sunday - The Hold Steady.
* ''Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'' by Music/IronMaiden. There's also the saga of Charlotte the Harlot, which is spread over four albums.
** If the Charlotte series counts, throw Music/{{Overkill}}'s "Overkill" songs in too. They're currently five songs in.
* The oft forgotten ''Music/SFSorrow'' by the '60s British group, Music/ThePrettyThings. S.F. Sorrow tells the story of Sebastian F. Sorrow, who endures World War I, and then returns to his love, who is killed in a dirigible accident. Sorrow falls into a severe state of depression, and is then taken on a journey by the mythical Baron Saturday. The Baron throws Sorrow into a room of mirrors, where he sees the horrible truths and revelations of his life, ending with Sorrow secluding himself from society and building a mental and emotional wall. And this was ten years before Roger Waters had even thought of The Wall yet. Notable for being considered one of the first Rock Operas. Produced at Abbey Road, during the same time The Beatles were recording ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'' and Music/PinkFloyd were recording ''Music/PiperAtTheGatesOfDawn.
* ''The Story of Simon Simopath'', a 1967 album by Nirvana (not ''that'' Music/{{Nirvana}}, [[NamesTheSame the other Nirvana]]), is said by ThatOtherWiki to be the [[UrExample earliest example]] of a rock album containing a single unified narrative.
* ''[[http://www.spacecrackers.com Space Crackers]]'', by indie band Clawjob.
* ''Music/SuppersReady'' by Music/{{Genesis}}, from the album ''Foxtrot''.
* ''Music/{{Tommy}}'' by Music/TheWho, in reference to which the term "rock opera" was coined.
** ''Music/{{Quadrophenia}}'' was their second rock opera. ''Music/WhosNext'' started out as a rock opera too. They have also done many mini operas, such as the recent ''Wire And Glass'' or the early ''Music/AQuickOne''.
* ''Traveller'' by Slough Feg
* ''The Unforgiving'' by Music/WithinTemptation.
* ''White City'', by Pete Townshend
* Music/TomWaits has four. ''Music/TheBlackRider'' is based on von Weber's opera ''Theatre/DerFreischuetz''. ''Theatre/{{Woyzeck}}'' (on the album ''Music/BloodMoney'') is based on Büchner's play of the same name. ''Music/{{Alice}}'' is basically ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' but weirder and with Creator/LewisCarroll as one of the main characters, and ''Music/FranksWildYears'' is an original story about following your dreams and failing.
* ''Music/TheWall'' by Music/PinkFloyd. Basically, we go through the life of a boy who had a [[DisappearedDad very]] [[SadistTeacher unhappy]] [[MyBelovedSmother childhood]] grow up into a rockstar with severe emotional issues, who then cuts himself off from the world via an emotional wall, and becomes a self styled neo-nazi dictator, before realizing how far gone he is, and putting himself on trial in his mind, in which the judge orders him to tear down the eponymous wall.
* ''Music/JeffWaynesMusicalVersionOfTheWarOfTheWorlds'', a 1978 adaptation of [[Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds the classic novel]], arranged by producer Music/JeffWayne and featuring an all-star cast consisting of Creator/RichardBurton, Justin Hayward, David Essex, and numerous others. There is also his less well-known work ''Spartacus''.
* ''[[Music/{{Charlemagne}} Charlemagne: by the Sword and the Cross]]'' is a [[HeavyMithril Symphonic Metal]] Rock Opera ConceptAlbum about the life of the Holy Roman Emperor, with Creator/ChristopherLee singing the title role! A HeavyMetal sequel, ''The Omens of Death'', is set for release in May 2013.
* Iced Earth's album ''The Dark Saga'' is a Rock Opera retelling of {{Spawn}}'s [[SuperHeroOrigin Origin Story]].
** There's also the more recent two-part Something Wicked: ''Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked, Part 1'', and ''The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked, Part 2''.
** And let's not forget their first rock opera, ''Night of the Stormrider''.
* Rhapsody (later Rhapsody of Fire) has two Rock Operas. The first is the Emerald Sword Saga, a fantasy story to find the titular sword to defeat the EvilOverlord, consists of Rhapsody's first five albums ("Legendary Tales", "Symphony of Enchanted Lands", "Dawn of Victory", "Rain of a Thousand Flames", and "Power of the Dragonflame"). The second is the Dark Secret Saga - a rather Tolkien-esque journey to destroy the Dark Lord Nekron's power - that spreads out over five albums ("Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret", "Triumph Or Agony", "The Frozen Tears of Angels", "The Cold Embrace of Fear: A Dark Romantic Symphony", and "From Chaos to Eternity), is narrated by Christopher Lee, and set in the same universe as the Emerald Sword Saga and occasionally [[ContinuityNod references the events of the saga]]. Together, they are referred to as "The Algalord Chronicles".
* Music/KingDiamond is to horror what Music/RhapsodyOfFire is to fantasy. All but two of their albums tell a story and there are several stories that span multiple albums.
* Prince Paul's ''A Prince Among Thieves'', notable for being the most high-profile (if not the first) ''rap'' opera.
** Preceding it (but with not much commercial success) was ''On And On'', a "rappera" made in 1989 by the Fat Boys.
* A notable failure would be 1981's ''Music/MusicFromTheElder'' by Music/{{Kiss}}, which flopped commercially, causing the planned tour and feature film to be cancelled, alienated much of the band's fanbase (those who hadn't already given up on the group after a set of subpar solo albums, a cheesy over-the-top TV movie, a switch to cartoonish superhero-like costumes, two straight disco records and the departure of drummer Peter Criss) and led to the departure of founding lead guitarist Ace Frehley, who opposed the idea of a concept album from the start and hardly appears on it.
* ''Clone High'' did an episode that was billed as a Rock Opera. Jack Black basically convinces all the kids that smoking raisins gets you high, with the typical "dangers of drugs" story as a result. It was very trippy and paid tribute to ''Music/{{Tommy}}'' and The Beatles a couple of times. The music was actually pretty good.
* ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'' started as a ten minute opera, then was upgraded to a full length stage show, and was also made into a rock opera film.
* Street Fight Round 1 by Man Factory, a musical roughly based around the plot of the street fighter game series, it's available on their myspace. Round 2 has been released, continuing the story of the first.
** Round 3 was released during the last days of 2013, concluding the trilogy.
* Kamelot did this recently with their twin albums Epica and Black Halo, which retell the story of Faust to melodic metal.
* Deltron 3030 by band of the same name is about an intergalactic fight to save hip-hop
* The double album ''Snow'' by Spock's Beard tells the story of the rise and fall of an albino psychic healer. He sets up a ministry in central park tries to use his gifts to help everyone he can. Slowly he burns out though and when he is harshly rejected by a woman he has fallen in love with he breaks down. Eventually he almost dies of a drug overdose, but wakes up in a hospital surrounded by the people he saved and god basically telling him to take it easy. The religious imagery in the album can be seen as a forerunner to the lead singer leaving the band to focus on christian rock.
* The Hungarian hit ''István, a király'' ("''Stephen the king''").
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9aHXjIbPNM "Tickle Monsters Are Robots"]], an oddly dark sci-fi epic written by a five-year-old.
* ''These Are Not My Pants'' by Christian band Music/FiveIronFrenzy is a parodic rock opera about a person wearing pants of unknown origin.
* ''Misty Beethoven: The Musical!'' is a rock-opera remake of 70's porn ''The Opening of Misty Beethoven'', which was in turn based on the musical ''My Fair Lady''.
* ''Music/{{Dirt}}'' by Music/AliceInChains tell of an addict's battle with drugs and death. (Ironically, it ended the same for the singer in real life)
* After many, many, ''many'' loose {{Concept Album}}s such as ''Music/TheRiseAndFallOfZiggyStardustAndTheSpidersFromMars'' (''Music/DiamondDogs'' would have been TheMusical adaptation of ''1984'' but for copyright negotiations), Music/DavidBowie finally wrote a full-fledged Rock Opera with 1995's ''1. Outside''. It was intended to be the first part of a [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible non-linear]] concept trilogy (with ''2. Contamination'' and ''3. Afrikaans'' the followups). This told the story of a detective in a {{Cyberpunk}} {{Dystopia}} investigating a rash of murders committed as art. The album wasn't a blockbuster, the U.S. double-bill tour he did with Music/NineInchNails mostly brought out fans who left during Bowie's second-half set, and the sequels were quietly dropped. That said, ''Outside'' did yield some of his better-known songs of TheNineties (''Se7en'' used "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" as a theme of sorts, and a remix of "Hallo Spaceboy" with Pet Shop Boys was a hit) and brought a lot of fans who'd given up on him in TheEighties back around.
* Music/TheDecemberists have a mini-rock opera in ''The Crane Wife'', which isn't quite a concept album, but features three tracks that together tell the story of a Japanese folk tale; it also has "The Island," a 12-and-a-half minute retelling of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/TheTempest''. ''The Hazards of Love'', however, is a full-blown rock opera concept album about a romance between William (A man that, as a child, was adopted by the Queen of the taiga and turned into a shapeshifting white fawn) and Margaret. Their romance is threatened by the aforementioned Queen (Who is angry at her adopted son having impregnated Margaret), and by a murderous scoundrel called the Rake, who simply wants to kidnap, rape, and presumably murder Margaret. [[{{Squick}} Hopefully in that order]]. On the way, William and Margaret are aided by the spirits of the forest, and the vengeful ghosts of the Rake's murdered children. [[spoiler: [[DownerEnding William and Margaret die anyway.]]]]
* ''[[Music/FearFactory Fear Factory's]]'' Obsolete album depicts a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolete_%28album%29#Story_line dystopian future where man is ruled by machines and the struggle against it]].
* Music/{{Fireaxe}} are a Power/Thrash metal band consisting soley of Brian Voth on every instrument. Every album is a rock opera but their most epic example has to be their 2003, 3 disc, 4 hour magnum opus ''Music/FoodForTheGods''. Every track tells a chapter in the history of humanity and the way our beliefs in various gods shape it. As deities come and go people fight and battle eachother, pay tribute and devote their lives to their glory. The whole thing culminates with a RageAgainstTheHeavens of such epic porportions that no other form of media has ever matched it. And the best part? All of Fireaxe's music is public domain and can be downloaded legally for free.
* The Hold Steady, while never going so far as to write a full-on Rock Opera have such an incestuous musical canon that you could probably construct one with minimal effort and at least one album seems dedicated to the experiences of 'Holly', a Catholic schoolgirl in way over her head with the local indie/druggie scene.
* Depending on who you ask, Tool's Lateralus
* Excluding the eponimous ''Mägo de Oz'', ''La Bruja'', and ''Belfast'' all Mägo de Oz albums are this. In fact ''Gaia'', ''Gaia II: La Voz Dormida'' and ''Gaia III: Atlantia'' form a trilogy
* Rick Wakeman had the chutzpah to make a musical version of ... ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' by Creator/GeorgeOrwell! Recommended for aficionados of Rock Opera. Wakeman's discography also includes rock operas based on ''Journey To The Center Of The Earth'' and the legend of KingArthur, along with an instrumental ConceptAlbum about the wives of UsefulNotes/HenryVIII.
* 10cc's ''One Night In Paris'' is a mini-rock-opera (about 10 minutes long) regarding an American tourist's experiences in the French capital.
* In ''HomeMovies'', garage band SCAB does a rock opera based on Creator/FranzKafka, with specific focus on his novella ''Literature/TheMetamorphosis'' including the ballad "Living Like A Bug Ain't Easy". Brendon also films a rock opera "Timmy" an affectionate parody of Music/TheWho's ''Music/{{Tommy}}''.
* To a certain extent, the Music/{{Madness}} album ''The Liberty of Norton Folgate'' could be considered as one (although the songs aren't technically rock). The first track is called ''Overture'', which introduces a lot of the melodic ideas which appear later on and leads directly into ''We Are London''. Most of the songs on the album - such as ''Sugar and Spice'' and ''NW5'' - tell stories about either growing up in London or travelling through London (except for ''Africa'', which instead ends with an instrumental extract of the title track). ''The Liberty of Norton Folgate'' itself is a ten minute long story about the sights, sounds and history of the eponymous area of London.
* ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' was a highly successful rock opera.
** It set the bar for other rock operas not made by bands to thrive on Broadway, such as: ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'', ''Theatre/PassingStrange'', ''Theatre/BloodyBloodyAndrewJackson'', ''Theatre/{{Memphis}}'' (although created by Music/BonJovi's keyboardist) and ''Theatre/NextToNormal''.
* Casey Crescenzo (formerly of The Receiving End of Sirens) has a side-project-turned-main-project called ''Music/TheDearHunter'' that tells the story of the titular Dear Hunter. Six acts are planned, each act as a separate album (with the exception of Act I, which is an EP). Three acts are currently released.
* The first two albums by Dragonland fall under this category.
* ''Music/{{Berlin}}'' by Music/LouReed.
* ''The Ghost Ship demos'' EP, re-released in 2008 as ''Phantom on the Horizon'', tells the tale of a Spanish Galleon meeting with a ghost ship from another dimension.
* ''Theatre/MozartLOperaRock'' (Mozart: a Rock Opera in English) by French composer Dove Attia, claims to be exactly what it is, a rock-opera biography of Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart.
* Orgy's Music/VaporTransmission is somewhere between this and a ConceptAlbum, telling a science-fiction space adventure story that is apparently based on people and situations that the band members really knew and saw. The only thing that makes it walk the line with concept album is that it isn't clear if the protagonist of later songs really is Suckerface, the identity of the female characters after Fiction is unclear, and there's one song about a friend of the band's mother that nonetheless talks about computery themes.
* Music/{{Hadestown}}, written by Anaďs Mitchell, is a re-telling of the Orpheus legend set in a vaguely Depression-era US. The album draws extensively from folk, blues and jazz traditions and boasts a cast of well-known folk and indie-folk vocalists, ranging from Justin Vernon and Ani DiFranco to Greg Brown and Ben Knox Miller.
* ''Tallahassee'' by Music/TheMountainGoats is an entire album that tells the story of a married couple who move into a slummy house in Florida. As their marriage swiftly turns from troubled to a drinking game to see who dies first, the house begins decaying rapidly until it burns down with them as they happily embrace death.
** The ending is AllJustADream though. The story was first introduced and concluded in every [[TheMountainGoats Mountain Goats]] song titled "Alpha X"
* Anathallo's album ''Floating World'' included "Hanasakajiji", a four-part adaptation of the Japanese folk tale "Old Man Cherry-Blossom".
* ''Legend of the Bone Carver'' by Pyramaze. It tells an epic story of a [[TheChosenOne Child]] that grows up in the comfort of nature, grow outside his surroundings and witness the horrors that evil and darkness have wrought upon the earth, and fulfill a prophecy to bring good and evil back into balance.
* Vanden Plas' last two, ''Christ 0'' and ''Seraphic Clockwork'', fit the bill, as does lead singer Andy Kuntz's side project Abydos.
* Saviour Machine is three albums into their ''Legend'' series, which goes through the book of Revelation.
* And then there's Cage's ''Hell Destroyer'', which is like the book of Revelation filtered through a comic book.
* Amaseffer's ''Slaves For Life'' is based on the Exodus.
* Orphaned Land's ''Mabool'' is based on Noah's Ark and various other ancient flood stories.
* Jag Panzer had ''Thane to the Throne'', an adaptation of Theatre/{{Macbeth}}.
* Virgin Steele have several rock operas under their belt... pretty much everything from ''Invictus'' on.
* Ahab's 2 albums to date have both been rock operas. Crushingly heavy funeral doom rock operas, but rock operas nonetheless. And given the band's name, it shouldn't be too hard to guess their favorite [[MobyDick theme]].
* Music/JanelleMonae's ''Metropolis Suite'' is a four-suite tale with inspirations in Fritz Lang's ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'', telling the story of android Cindi Mayweather on the run from the civic authorities of a futuristic city for falling in love with a human.
* The album ''Terrifyer'' by deathgrind band Pig Destroyer is, if not a rock opera, certainly sequential of narrative. It details the narrator's obsession with Natasha, the 'Terrifyer' of the title.
* ''Colonel Jeffery Pumpernickel: A Concept Album'' is unusual for being both an original rock opera and a various artists compilation: Chris Slusarenko came up with a [[MindScrew thoroughly confusing]] version of the standard RockOperaPlot, then got indie rock acts like Music/GuidedByVoices, [[{{Music/Pavement}} Stephen Malkmus]], and Grandaddy to write and perform songs based around it.
* Music/WillieNelson's ''Music/RedHeadedStranger surely counts as a Country Opera...
* [[Music/SteelyDan Donald Fagen]]'s ''Kamakiriad''. A TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture album about a man and his car.
* Music/KitchensOfDistinction's ''Death Of Cool'' is arguably a Rock Opera. This is unconfirmed as the lyrics in the songs seem to be telling a story, but lead singer Patrick Fitzgerald has yet to say. It seems to be telling the story of a young man growing up in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.
* Music/SoundHorizon has created a number of these, such as ''Moira'' and ''Marchen''.
* Music/TomRussell wrote one of the most famous folk operas of the 1990s, his 1999 release ''The Man From Nowhere''. It took him 10 years to write, tracing his family tree back over a hundred years to do so, but boy does it pay off. Each and every character is developed in an incredibly strong way, and the lyrics have amazing effort put into them.
* The cut VillainSong "Biggering" from ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax''.
* ''The Divine Conspiracy'' by Music/{{Epica}} could also qualify. It's a concept album that turns around the concept of religion from the view of a character.
* ''Greendale'' by Music/NeilYoung, which has also been adapted into a film and a GraphicNovel.
* "Cash Cow (A Rock Opera In Three Small Acts)" by Music/SteveTaylor claims to be one, but it's only 5 minutes long and most of the story can be understood within the music itself.
* "Fight Like A Girl" by Music/EmilieAutumn. Well, more like [[GenreBusting industrial/dark cabaret/classical/riot grrl/classic rock/showtunes]] opera. It's an adaptation of Autumn's own novel Literature/TheAsylumForWaywardVictorianGirls.
* ''Into the Lair of the Sun God'' by Dawnbringer is a nine-untitled track album about a story of a young warrior with no quest to fulfil so he takes on a quest created by his own mind to defeat the sun.
* ''Music/SomethingBroke'', a 15-minute long musical adaptation of the infamous ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction ''Fanfic/{{Cupcakes}}'' that expands on why Pinkie Pie decided to torture and cook Rainbow Dash.
* The concept was spoofed several times during the Host Segments of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''.
* Music/{{Mothy}} takes this trope UpToEleven-almost every song he's ever written is part of a massive storyline (called the Franchise/EvilliousChronicles) which spans over 1000 years. There are tie-in novels, manga, and short stories to explain each song. The story is...[[JigsawPuzzlePlot complicated.]]
* ''Comicbook/TheLastTemptation'' is collaboration between Creator/AliceCooper and Creator/NeilGaiman consisting of a rock opera ConceptAlbum by Cooper and a comic book by Gaiman.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' featured an in-universe example with Raptar On Ice.
* ''Music/{{Metalocalypse}}'' has ''The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera'', which was simultaneously created as a 1 hour special episode and album, with the album available shortly after its airing.
* ''Music/DestinyATaleOfUnicornWings'', the longest single-artist album in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fandom, revolving around Twilight Sparkle's transformation into an alicorn and how she deals with it.
* ''Music/{{Abigail}}'' by Music/KingDiamond tells a horror story about the rebirth of a stillborn demon baby from an unfaithful wife, who was pushed down the stairs by her husband.
* Creator/SabanEntertainment released the soundtrack ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers: The Album - A Rock Adventure'', which told an altered and condensed version of the season 2 three-parter "The Mutiny"
* ''Blessed He With Boils'' by California-based BlackMetal band Xanthochroid which tells the story of two estranged brothers, one of whom has risen to power while the other struggles to dethrone him. The story takes place within the band's self-created fantasy world of Etymos, and their 2011 EP ''Incultus'' serves as a prequel.
* ''Music/StephenTheKing'' (also known as Music/IstvánAKirály) by Levente Szörényi, which tells the story of Koppány’s rebbelion against István who’d become the first king of Hungary.
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