- The Marriage of Figaro | Opera Australia
- Why has marriage declined?
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The indoor scenes are taut and full of social insights.source url
The Marriage of Figaro | Opera Australia
The servants are rarely out of sight or mind. And this is very much a reading for the MeToo era. But there is a dramatic slackness in the always difficult nocturnal final act, which means the opera loses its way until Mozart comes to the rescue in the transcendent final scene. Few know this score better or talk about it more interestingly than he. There is terrific zip and attention to detail, and orchestral insights abound. To hear two such baritones in this opera is luxury indeed.
But this will be remembered as the gender-fluid revival with a male Cherubino , the Korean-American countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim, who pulls it off in more senses than one. For many young adults, making the marriage decision is straightforward and simple. Current social trends toward delaying and even avoiding marriage further complicate the matter. Some young adults become overly concerned with finding the right person, waiting for the perfect timing, or feeling fully prepared to commit for eternity.
In fact, a recent study of Latter-day Saints in the United States showed that one-third of young adults ages 21 to 25 have some concerns or reservations about their readiness for marriage.
Why has marriage declined?
Despite these challenges, Church leaders have affirmed the command to marry and have assured young adults that eternal marriage is not only possible but also desirable. But please have faith, and join that faith with works. The Lord is aware of you as individuals and of your particular circumstances. He will bless you.
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He will assist you in bringing to pass that which is right and which you righteously desire. Please have faith. For me, getting a confirmation about my marriage was like filling a glass.
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I was afraid of the relationship ending with broken hearts or anger. However, I realized I would know what to do only by spending time with her. She had strong desires to serve a mission, and I strongly wanted to be sure of whom I should date and marry. Plus, we were both afraid of making a mistake in choosing when and whom to marry. As I sought priesthood blessings and counsel from priesthood leaders and continued to pray, the glass continued to fill.
We both saw from experience that we worked well together and complemented each other. As I prayed and as my glass filled, I felt added courage to keep dating her to see what would happen. Over time, I realized that I truly loved Karen and wanted to spend eternity with her. When she met my family and I saw how she fit in, my glass was full. It took me a year to get to that point, but when I did, the doubt dispersed and I could see clearly.
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I knew I should marry her and I knew that I knew. Because we learned so much in our dating and during our engagement, our adjustment to marriage has been smooth, and we are extremely happy. For many of my teenage years and into my first years of college, my parents struggled significantly in their marriage. My parents did stay married and worked through their struggles, and I came home to find them closer to each other than I had ever seen them before. However, my grandparents, who had been married for more than 50 years, got divorced while I was on my mission.
My exposure to these situations left me wondering if it was all worth it and if I could expect to have a happy, successful marriage.
Over time I felt good about our growing relationship. The man I was dating was kind, thoughtful, and considerate, not just with me, but also with others. He was faithful in his Church callings, and, since we were both returned missionaries, we would often attend the temple together, all of which helped me to feel peace and gain confidence that he was a worthy choice. I wish I could say that when I knelt down and prayed about it, peace and clarity came right away. It took weeks and even months. It was frustrating for my boyfriend, who did not have the same fears that I did.
He already felt peace about our relationship and wanted to move forward. I am grateful that he waited patiently for my witness to come. It was sweet and personal and very peaceful. In fact, I think the closer we got to marriage and realized what a big decision we were making, the more worries popped up! But those feelings of peace fed my faith, and I was able to move forward.
Marriage is hard at times, but because of the confirmation I worked and waited for, I never doubt the decision I made to marry my husband. I was almost done with my undergraduate education before I really believed marriage was for me.
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There were even a few times when I tried to commit to a life of solitude, but lessons from the scriptures and encouragement from my family were enough to nudge me into the dating scene. In my mind I could clearly see the consequences of choosing to stay single and of choosing to marry. My decision to marry would have meant little if I had not actively worked toward securing the blessing. Knowing that the girl of my dreams would most likely not show up on my doorstep, I committed myself to doing what would result in a proper, happy temple marriage. I prayed, fasted, attended the temple, and exercised faith that I would find the young woman I wanted to marry.
I made practical adjustments as well: I knew the best way to meet people was to socialize, so I made time for both formal dates and social activities. When I started dating Keisy, I had to start planning for two people in my schedule and not just one. I had to find things for us to do so we could get to know each other better. Even after I had gained a testimony of eternal marriage, my desire to be married was still small.
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But as Keisy and I dated and the strength of our relationship increased, my desire for temple marriage increased too. It continued to grow after the proposal, the engagement pictures, the family parties, and each subsequent act that prepared us for our new life together.