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Hippolyte Bis

Biography

French dramatist Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis (1789–1855) is best known today for his involvement with creating the libretto for Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (1829), revising the text by Etienne de Jouy in collaboration with Armand Marrast and Adolphe Crémieux. His contributions included making substantial changes to Jouy’s Act II.

Bis was born in Douai and later lived in Lille and Paris. His first drama Lothaire (1817), co-written with François Hay, was not performed, but he found success with his second, Attila (1822).

Though Guillaume Tell was Bis’s only foray into libretto-writing, his play Blanche d’Aquitaine (1827) was likely the source for Donizetti’s first major opera for La Scala, Ugo, conte di Parigi (1832).