A Rock Opera
by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
, detailing the final hours of the life of composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Shortly after completing his "10th Symphony", Beethoven is visited by the goddess Fate and told that he is about to die. Immediately following this, the devil Mephistopheles arrives and lays claim to Beethoven's soul, but is willing to exchange it for the 10th Symphony
. The album follows Beethoven as he looks back on his life of hardships, wondering what he could have done differently to avoid this confrontation.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Beethoven is convinced his adored Theresa would not love him if she knew he were going deaf. Cue Theresa's song about how she would have loved him if he had only given her the chance.
- All There in the Manual: The CD liner notes elaborate a bit on the story, including some events that are not actually covered by the songs themselves (such as the Twist Ending).
- Cherubic Choir: Appears briefly during the vocal breakdown in "Mephistopheles' Return".
- Deal with the Devil
- Evil Is Hammy: Mephistopheles certainly hams it up whenever he's around (the fact that he sounds a lot like Mark Hamill's version of The Joker certainly helps.)
- Evil Sounds Raspy: Mephistopheles, particularly in "Misery".
- Foregone Conclusion: Beethoven's 10th Symphony has never been found. Except it doesn't happen the way you'd think.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: In an unusual variation, it is not Beethoven's impact on others that is the focus of this trope, but rather the impact of deafness, pain and hardship upon him and his music. Though there is a brief bit where the muse reveals to Beethoven that his music would go on to inspire generations of musicians after him.
- Kick the Dog: Mephistopheles takes great glee in describing all the ways he'll torture the poor homeless orphan girl if Beethoven doesn't give him what he wants.
- Leave Your Quest Test: Essentially, Mephistopheles' entire scheme.
- Meaningless Villain Victory: Mephistopheles eventually contracts for the 10th Symphony as written by Ludwig van Beethoven, firstborn of Johann and Maria van Beethoven. However, it turns out that the composer is actually the second-born (with the same name), and that the firstborn Ludwig died at birth, so the contract does not apply to the composer Beethoven.
- Necessary Fail: Mephistopheles gives Beethoven the chance to change his life. In each instance, Beethoven discovers his misery, heartbreak, and eventual deafness all contributed to his incredible music. In the end, Beethoven refuses to erase even a single moment.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: Most of the songs have melodies based upon Beethoven's works.
- Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Not the best songs of the album, but he gives it a good try.
- Rock Opera
- Sadistic Choice: Mephistopheles eventually forces Beethoven to give up the 10th Symphony, or else he'll torture and kill a random orphan girl sleeping outside his house.
- Satan: Yup.
- Stealth Pun: Not all that stealthy, but spoilers to preserve plot. Fate's son is named Twist, and he delivers the surprise at the end. Twist of Fate, anyone?
- Twist Ending
- Villain Song: Tied between Mephistopheles and Misery, which is a cackling rendition of Mephistopheles' plan to kill a small child if Beethoven doesn't give over his soul. Featuring Jon Oliva's signature creepy laugh.
- The Villain Sucks Song: Mephistopheles' Return. Although it would be more accurate to call it a "The Villain Is Terrifying Song".