Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Hercules constitutes a filmed version of a live performance of George Friedrich Handel's titular opera, featuring Les Arts Florissants and the Aix-en-Provence Opera. Directed by Luc Bondy and starring William Shimell as Hercules, Joyce DiDonato as Dejanira, Ed Lyon as Hyllus, and Ingela Bohlin as Iole, the opera tells the story of a man nearly destroyed by his wife's possessiveness of him. Bondy uses a reconstructed sand-covered ampitheatre on stage as the main set, and -- per Handel's original intentions -- employs the chorus as the People of Trachis: a Greek chorus, commenting on the action that unfolds on stage. William Christie conducts the orchestra.