Hercules was first given at the King's Theatre in London on 5 January 1745 in concert style. There were only two performances in the original run. The role of Lichas was written first as a small one for tenor, but it was greatly expanded before the premiere to provide Susanna Cibber with six airs. She was too ill to sing on the first night, and the music was either omitted or redistributed on that occasion. She sang in the second performance on 12 January. The music for the chorus "Wanton God" and the air "Cease, ruler of the day" was never given in this opera: the latter was adapted for the final chorus of Theodora. The work was a total failure and caused Handel to suspend his season. Hercules obtained three further hearings, two in 1749 and one in 1752, for which the role of Lichas was eliminated, and much of the other music was also cut.

Librettist Thomas Broughton (Based on Sophocles and Ovid)
Date of composition 1744 (July 19 to August 17, 1744)
Premiered 1745, January 5th (King's Theatre in the Haymarket) in London, UK
Type Oratorio
Catalogue HWV 60
Spoken language English
Instruments Orchestra
Voice (Bass) - King's Theatre in the Haymarket
Voice (Mezzo-Soprano) - Dejanira, wife of Hercules
Voice (Soprano) - Iole, daughter of the King of Oechalia
Voice (Tenor) - Hyllus, son of Hercules
Voice (Contralto) - Lichas, a herald
Autotranslations beta Georg Friedrich Haendel: Hercules, HWV 60
Georg Friedrich Händel: Hercules, HWV 60
Georg Friedrich Händel: Hercules, HWV 60