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Private Willis, Iolanthe

Private Willis, Iolanthe

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Private Willis is a character in the comic opera "Iolanthe" by Gilbert and Sullivan. He is a sentry at the Palace of Westminster, where the House of Lords conducts its business. Private Willis has a memorable solo song in the opera, "When All Night Long a Chap Remains," in which he offers his humorous observations about the strange customs and practices of the British political system.

Private Willis is a non-singing character for most of the opera, but his song is often performed as an encore or as a standalone piece. In the song, he comments on various aspects of British politics, including the hereditary nature of the House of Lords, the corruption of politicians, and the perceived irrelevance of parliamentary debates to the lives of ordinary people.

Private Willis is a minor character in the opera, but his song has become one of the most famous and beloved pieces from the show. The character is often played as a wise and slightly cynical observer of the absurdities of British politics, reflecting the satirical tone of the opera as a whole.

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