Kiri Te Kanawa to guest-star on 'Downton Abbey'

"Downton Abbey" is set to get a visit from a famous opera singer in its new season. Kiri Te Kanawa, the renowned soprano from New Zealand, is scheduled to appear on the popular British period soap opera, shown in the U.S. on PBS.

Producers announced over the weekend that Te Kanawa will appear as a guest of the aristocratic Crawley household, and that viewers can expect her to sing during her appearance. Other new cast members for Season 4, which is currently filming, include veteran stage actress Harriet Walter -- who appeared to great acclaim in "Mary Stuart"  on Broadway in 2009 -- and rising actor Tom Cullen.

Te Kanawa, 68, has performed with virtually all the major opera companies around the world, though she now concentrates on philanthropy and gives recitals and concerts. She was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009.

The singer spoke to the Times in 2009 about her career and personal life.  


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