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Kiri Te Kanawa gives 'Downton' an operatic touch

Tuesday - 8/13/2013, 7:34pm  ET

FILE - File photo dated May 13, 2010 of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. "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 and the New Zealand-born singer says "I couldn't say yes fast enough" to appearing in a show she loves. 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. Te Kanawa sang for journalists at a preview of the new season on Tuesday Aug. 13 2013. (AP Photo / Yui Mok, PA File) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

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.

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.


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