Kiri set to sing in Downton Abbey

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Photo / David Venni Photography
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Photo / David Venni Photography

One of the biggest names in New Zealand entertainment is to appear in one of the most successful British television shows, Downton Abbey.

British media were reporting yesterday that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa would appear in the fourth series of Downton, which began shooting this week.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Dame Kiri, 68, would play an opera singer and make her debut by giving a performance at a party thrown by the show's central family, the Crawleys.

It was not clear from the reports whether the appearance would be more than a one-off, and her New Zealand manager, Paul Gleeson, was not about to throw any light on it.

Gleeson said Dame Kiri was back home preparing for a private recital in Auckland next week. She would then head to Australia for a further eight recitals before returning to star in a sold-out concert, An Evening with Dame Kiri, at Oamaru Opera House on March 27.

He would not confirm her role in Downton Abbey, which screens here on Prime.

It will mark a rare television appearance for the singer, who performed at the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in 1981.

Downton Abbey has won nine Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

- Herald on Sunday

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