While we were in some ways blindsided by the news this past week that Siobhan Finneran is not returning to “Downton Abbey” season 4 as Mrs. O’Brien, there are a number of new faces that are going to help make up for the absence of her, Matthew (Dan Stevens), and Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay). We have already heard from Tom Cullen, who is expected to play the purported love interest to Michelle Dockery’s character of Mary; now, we are hearing from an opera singer who is joining the show.
While we do not necessarily expect Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to be a major star of the series who appears in every episode, she is going to be making at least one appearance in a role that is going to be rather similar to what she actually does in real life. Speaking as a part of a brand-new radio interview, the singer explains that she will be going back in time to play an opera singer on the show, specifically for a party thrown by Mary.
So why in the world is a woman supposedly in mourning throwing any sort of celebration at all? Well, it is important here to remember that there is going to be a fairly substantial time jump in between seasons 3 and 4 of around six months, and there may be some other motive for Dockery’s character that is not quite clear. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Kiri Te Kanawa is utilized, mostly because this show is traditionally not one that engages in any sort of guest casting of this variety.
Are you excited to see what happens with this particular party? If you want to hear what “Downton Abbey” executive producer Gareth Neame has to say about the exit of O’Brien, be sure to head on over to the link here.