From the wikipedia article on Marie Wittich (the german soprano who sang the title role in SALOME´s premiere):
During the rehearsals for the premiere of SALOME, several members of the cast became dismayed by the demanding and complex nature of their parts, none more so than Wittich, who was reluctant to sing a role which Strauss described as "a sixteen-year old princess with the voice of Isolde". Her reply to him was, "One just does not write like that, Herr Strauss. Either one thing or the other."
She and most of the cast nearly withdrew from the production, but eventually relented and continued with the rehearsals.
However Wittich, who was 37 with a somewhat matronly figure (Strauss referred to her as "Auntie Wittich"), flatly refused to perform Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils or to kiss the severed head of John the Baptist. Her oft-quoted remark to Strauss in this respect was: "I won't do it; I'm a decent woman." In the end, the opening night on 9 December 1905 was a triumph with the singers taking 38 curtain calls. A ballerina from the Dresden company performed the Dance of the Seven Veils.