Introduction to Shadow Box

Whitesnake discography of shadow box

The British hard rock band Whitesnake have released thirteen studio albums, seven live albums, nine compilation albums, three box sets, two extended plays (EPs), 40 singles, nine video albums and 29 music videos. Formed in Middlesbrough in 1978 by vocalist David Coverdale, the band originally featured guitarists Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden, bassist Neil Murray, keyboardist Peter Solley and drummer Dave Dowle. The group's debut EP Snakebite was released in June 1978 and reached number 61 on the UK Singles Chart. After replacing Solley with Jon Lord, the band released their debut full-length album Trouble later in the year, which reached number 50 on the UK Albums Chart. 1979's Lovehunter reached number 29 on the chart. Lead single "Long Way from Home" charted at number 55.

Dowle was replaced by Ian Paice after the release of Lovehunter, and in 1980 Whitesnake reached the UK top ten for the first time with Ready an' Willing, which peaked at number 6 and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The album was also the band's first to register on the US Billboard 200, reaching number 90. The album's lead single "Fool for Your Loving" reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. The group's first live release, Live... in the Heart of the City, reached number 5 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the BPI. 1981's Come an' Get It and 1982's Saints & Sinners also both reached the UK top ten, with the former reaching a peak of number 2 (the band's highest to date). Three singles from across the two albums reached the UK Singles Chart top 40.

After a brief hiatus and several lineup changes, Whitesnake resurfaced in 1984 with Slide It In, which was their first album to reach the US top 40. It was also the band's first release to be certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), reaching double platinum status. 1987's Whitesnake was even more successful, reaching number 2 on the Billboard 200, number 5 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and the top ten in several other regions. The album was certified eight times platinum by the RIAA, five times platinum by Music Canada, and platinum by the BPI. The single "Here I Go Again" topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Singles Chart, as well as reaching the top ten of the UK Singles Chart. Its follow-up "Is This Love" reached number 2 on the Hot 100 and number 9 in the UK. The band's 1989 release Slip of the Tongue was the band's only other album to reach the US top ten, and the last to be certified by the RIAA (reaching platinum status).

Whitesnake broke up in 1991. Three years later, Greatest Hits was released as the band's first compilation album, reaching number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and being certified gold by the BPI. The band returned with Restless Heart in 1997, which peaked at number 34 in the UK. In 2002 the band returned on a permanent basis. The 2003 compilation Best of Whitesnake reached number 44 in the UK and was certified gold by the BPI, while the 2006 video release Live... in the Still of the Night reached number 2 on the UK Music Video Chart and was also certified gold. Whitesnake's tenth studio album Good to Be Bad was released in 2008, reaching number 7 in the UK and number 62 in the US. In 2011, the band reached number 33 with Forevermore and number 81 with Live at Donington 1990, in 2013 they reached number 67 with Made in Japan, and in 2015 they reached number 18 with The Purple Album.


RolesSynopsis of shadow box

Act 1Dalua, the Lord of Shadow, is seen in a dark and mysterious wood. He is known as the Amadan-Dhu, the Faery Fool, the Dark One, and is an agent of unseen and fateful powers, whose touch brings madness and death to mortals. He has come there under some compulsion, following visions, but does not know for what purpose. He is mocked by invisible spirits of the woods, who recognise him as an outcast, feared even by the gods themselves. He ripostes that he is the instrument of powers beyond even the gods, and bids the voices be silent. A woman's voice is heard and Etain enters the clearing, looking bewildered and singing about the wonderful place she came from, where death is only a "drifting shadow" and where the Faery folk - the Shee - hold court. She resolves to return but is waylaid by Dalua. As he touches her with a shadow she forgets all of where she came from barring her name. Dalua realises that the reason for their meeting is now clear to him; a mortal king has sought immortal love and is led towards them under similar compulsion to theirs. He bids Etain to go and awaits the king. Eochaidh, who is High King of Eir, enters and is welcomed by Dalua. Dalua shows him visions of the legendary Fount of Beauty which the king has pursued in dreams. Spirit voices warn Eochaidh to return to his people, but by then he is under Dalua's spell and follows him blindly into the wood.

In a hut, the peasant Manus and his wife Maive sit with Etain, who is sheltering from a stormy night. A stranger - Dalua - has given them gold for Etain's accommodation and for their silence. They are nervous not just from the storm but from fear of the Faery folk, whom they avoid talking of or even naming. When Eochaidh appears and asks for shelter, they are terrified, especially as he has been out in the storm but is not even damp! He assures them he is mortal just like them, but then sees Etain and forgets everything else. Etain and Eochaidh sing a love duet, interrupted by a mocking laugh from outside. Etain tells him it was an owl. As they sit together, the faint voices of the Faeries can be heard singing.

Act 2A year has passed in Eochaidh's court, and he has called a celebration for the anniversary of his winning of Etain. Choruses of druids, maidens, bards and warriors sing and raise toasts to the royal couple. In the middle of this, Etain announces that she is weary and has been troubled by strange dreams. She bids them goodnight. Eochaidh admits that he too has had unsettling dreams, in which he saw the Faeries marching, beautiful, powerful and frightening. He begs her not to go but she insists. As soon as she has retired to her room, a stranger appears at the door - Midir, Etain's immortal lover, disguised as a harpist. He is welcomed warily by Eochaidh, who is upset when the stranger will not give his name. Midir asks a favour of the king and Eochaidh assents. He is unhappy when he learns it is to kiss the queen's hand and serenade her with a song, but his word was given so Etain is roused. Midir sings the Faery song heard at the end of Act I. Etain, awakened to her immortal origins, leaves with Midir to the sounds of a Faery chorus. Only the heartbroken king remains, and as he begs for his dreams back, Dalua steps in and touches him soundlessly. He collapses, dead.


Life and career of shadow box

Early lifeBorn in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, who moved to France soon thereafter, Lino dropped out of school at the age of eight and later took on a variety of jobs. At one point Ventura was pursuing a prizefighting and professional wrestling career but had to end it because of an injury.

Early rolesIn 1953, by chance, one of his friends mentioned him to Jacques Becker who was looking for an Italian actor to play opposite Jean Gabin in a gangster movie called Touchez pas au grisbi (1954). Becker offered him on the spot the role of Angelo, which Ventura refused at first but then accepted. He had such a presence in the film that the whole profession took notice. The film was a big success.

Ventura started to build up an acting career in similar hard-boiled gangster films, often playing beside his friend Jean Gabin, including his second film, Razzia sur la chnouf (1955).

He followed it with Law of the Streets (1956), Crime and Punishment (1956) with Gabin.

Later careerSome of his most famous roles include the portrait of corrupt police chief Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera (1963) and mob boss Vito Genovese in The Valachi Papers (1972).

Although he remained an Italian citizen throughout his life and long used to seeing himself dubbed into Italian from the original French release, he only made a handful of films in his native language, among them The Last Judgement (Il giudizio universale, 1961), Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri eccellenti, 1976) and Cento Giorni a Palermo (1983).

Ventura remained active until the year before his death from a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 68. Having a disabled daughter himself, he created a charitable foundation, Perce-Neige (Snowdrop) in 1966, which supports disabled people.

Throughout his career, he was one of the most popular actors of French cinema. He spoke French without any accent (excepting a Parisian one at the beginning of his career) and spoke Italian with a slight French accent, having arrived in France at the age of seven. Forcibly conscripted into the Italian army during the Second World War, he deserted. But, although his wife and four children were French, he never wanted to give up Italian citizenship, out of respect for his parents. Despite this, he was ranked 23rd of the 100 greatest Frenchmen, 17 years after his death.

Somewhat paradoxically, Ventura attributed his great success to his limited range as an actor; and often said "If I cannot believe in a character, or if something does not ring true, I cannot act it."

In a 1980 interview he said that the previous year "I began to realize how incredibly lucky I had been since the age of 9, how much I had been loved by so many people. When I act, I am doing what I love, and I am paid for it. So I put myself in the service of the film, never the film in service to me." He mentioned he turned down several roles - a part in Apocalypse Now (cut from the final film), a role in a Robert Aldrich film and the part played by Franois Truffaut in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

He said, "The story is everything. My good friend Jean Gabin told me 25 years ago there are three important things in movies: the story, the story and the story."

"I have limitations," he said. "I have no training; I could not do the classics. What I can do is myself. And I like best not to talk at all... I study the script, and then try to become the character. That is very mysterious, how that happens. I cannot explain it. There are so many mysteries in cinema, the way everything must interlock, that when you think of it all, you never want to make a film."

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