The received wisdom is that a 1966 Salzburg Festival production of Le Nozze di Figaro will surely be unbearably outdated and will contain wooden performances with little directorial intervention/invention. Think again. This production has THE perfect cast, both musically and visually. Claire Watson in the role of the Countess was one of the world's great sopranos, and was at the height of her powers here. 'Dove sono' had me on the verge of tears. Sadly, although she was 39 at the time of this recording, she had only a further 20 years to live. Reri Grist is thankfully still with us; she is a superb Susanna, beautiful, playful, seductive AND hits all the notes with exquisite ease. Walter Berry is the perfect foil, and a genuine comic turn. Ingvar Wixell is a truly villainous Count, dominating the stage with his furious outbursts, and Edith Mathis, playing Cherubino, is at once sexy and boyish. Karl Bohm's conducting is a revelation. I had always associated him with rather dour performances of Mozart symphonies but in this performance the rhythmic energy is palpable, making the 3 hours duration whiz past. I guess some may take issue with singers bowing to the audience after arias, but to me that just made it more charming. I rapidly adapted to the dated black and white imagery, and the sound is remarkably good for its age.