anyone want to guess what gustav mahler and adolf hitler had in common? May of 1906, they attended the same performance of Richard Strauss' Salome, the first of several in Graz (Puccini was in attendance too...but that's not the point). Believe it or not, both were actually excited to see it the opera. Mahler had been struggling for months to stage it in Vienna, only to be turned down by the censors. Not until many years later would history know how desperately young Adolf had worked to attend that concert, since he was unemployed at the time. After the Nazis banned Salome from being performed in Graz during 1939, Strauss penned this little gem in a letter to a relative:

"The idea that Salome is supposed to be a Jewish ballad is very humorous. The Reichskanzler [trans. Chancellor of Germany] himself told my son in Bayreuth that Salome was one of his first operatic experiences and that he had raised the money to pay for his fare to go to the first performance in Graz by begging from his relatives. Literally!!"

Curious to know more about Salome? Learn about it in this earlier post!