Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Excited About Upcoming DOWNTON ABBEY Role

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Excited About Upcoming DOWNTON ABBEY Role

At the Downton Abbey press launch this week, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa told reporters she is thrilled to be part of the historical drama series which airs on the UK's ITV and PBS in the U.S. The opera star takes on the the role of real-life character Dame Nellie Melba, an opera singer who performs at the Grantham estate in the new season of the show.

'Oooh, I jumped at Nellie Melba, the judge said fifteen years, but she got her Revenge and pushed me down the apples and pears, oi!' she gushed. 'The most incredible thing is I took my two dogs along [to filming] and Lady Carnarvon didn't want those anywhere near the place."

The singer even marked the experience by giving her new puppy a special name. 'During the time, I was expecting doggy number three and [now] she's called Abbey as in Downton. She's my little Downton prize,' she explained.

According to ITV, "Downton Abbey series four finds Lady Mary mourning her husband Matthew, who died six months earlier in a tragic car crash. Matthew had just visited his wife and new baby George in hospital and was returning to see his family when his car overturned killing the heir to Downton."

The cast of Season 4 will include the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson as well as several new actors, including Paul Giamatti, Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Julian Ovenden, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Gary Carr. They will join Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, and the rest of the large and beloved Downton Abbey "family."

Source: Metro.co.uk