Composed: 19 July - 17 August 1744 First performance: 5 January 1745: London, King's Theatre, Haymarket.
(Also 12 January.)
In this recording:
Sarah Walker The Eglish Baroque Soloists Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
Original cast from first performance:
Hercules : Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass) Dejanira : Miss Robinson (mezzosoprano) Iole : Elisabeth Duparc, called "La Francesina" (soprano) Hyllus : John Beard (tenor) Lichas : Susanna Maria Cibber (alto)
24 February 1749: London, Covent Garden Theatre (1 performance) 21 February 1752: London, Covent Garden Theatre (1 performance)
Where shall I fly? Where hide this guilty head? Oh fatal error of misguided love! Oh cruel Nessus, how art thou revenged! Wretched I am! By me Alcides dies! These impious hands have sent my injured lord untimely to the shades! Let me be mad! Chain me, ye furies, to your iron beds. And lash my guilty ghosts with whips of scorpions!
See! See! They come! Alecto with her snakes, Megaera fell, and black Tisiphone! See the dreadful sisters rise. Their baneful presence taints the skies! See the snaky whips they bear! What yellings rend my tortured ear!