Following on the international success of their recording of Lully's Bellerophon, Christophe Rousset and his ensemble Les Talens Lyriques present Hercule mourant (Hercules Dying) - an undiscovered operatic treasure by Antoine Dauvergne. When Francoeur and Rebel took over as directors of the Academie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opera) in 1757, they decided to promote some of the new generation of composers. Among them was Dauvergne, who appears to have enjoyed great favor at that time. Premiered in 1762, Hercule mourant was a success, receiving eighteen performances. The opera's libretto by Jean-Francois Marmontel extended the scope of French opera: he was the first to have the courage to bring opera closer to the great spectacles of ancient Greece. Inspired and guided by Marmontel's libretto, he clearly aimed to take the genre in a completely new direction, anticipating the Romantic model for opera that was born with Gluck, while at the same time giving one of the last tributes to the great French tragedie lyrique tradition inherited from Lully.