Kiri Te Kanawa Gives ‘Downton’ an Operatic Touch

Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — “Downton Abbey,” the world’s favorite country-house soap, is getting a dose of opera.

Producers say soprano Kiri Te Kanawa will appear in the upcoming fourth season as real-life diva Nellie Melba.

The New Zealand-born singer says “I couldn’t say yes fast enough” to appearing in a show she loves — and enjoyed her time on set so much she named her new dog Abbey.

Watch the First Two Seasons of “Downton Abbey” Here on xfinityTV

Te Kanawa sang for journalists at a preview of the new season on Tuesday. In the new series, Melba — a huge star of the early 20th century — joins the aristocratic Grantham clan for a house party.

The costume drama about the family and servants in an English stately home returns to British television this fall, and airs in the U.S. on PBS in January.

Watch the Pilot Episode of “Downton Abbey” Below:

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