Kiri Te Kanawa To Guest Star on 'Downton Abbey'

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The New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa will be joining the bluebloods on "Downton Abbey," PBS said in a statement over the weekend.

The 68-year-old singer will play a house guest who sings, joining the award-winning cast in the fourth season of the period drama.

Te Kanawa has been a fixture on international opera stages for more than 40 years and gained international celebrity by singing at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. Now she concentrates mostly on concerts and recitals as well as her philanthropy.

"Downton Abbey" announced that several other new faces would be joining the series, after a year in which the series lost the actors Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley, and Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Lady Sybil. Shirley MacLaine will also return, following her Season 3 appearances as Martha Levinson, the Dowager's nemesis.

Season 4 premieres in fall 2013 in the UK and will likely debut in January 2014 in the US.

Weigh in: What sort of repertoire would be fitting for Kiri Te Kanawa's appearances on "Downton Abbey?"