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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Is Playing An Equally Legendary Opera Singer In "Downton Abbey"

More details are emerging about the new series.

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UK press got their first glimpse of the new series of Downton Abbey yesterday (August 13) but they also got a surprise.

Getty / Chris Jackson

Opera legend Dame Kiri te Kanawa turned up and performed two songs, including 'Songs My Mother Taught Me' as she will be appearing in the show's new series.

"When they asked me to do it, I nearly choked. I couldn't say yes fast enough."

She will be playing equally legendary opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.

Getty / Hulton Archive

Helen 'Nellie' Porter Mitchell was one of the most famous singers of the Victorian era, and the first Australian to achieve international fame as a musician. In the show she will be portrayed performing at a party hosted by Lord Grantham. The singer said: "We tried to stay true to the character because as Julian Fellowes said she's the only true character who actually lived during the whole of the Downton series, I think."