British television series “Downton Abbey” may have lost a few cast members last season, but is adding six news ones including a famous opera singer…
Fans were devastated as the roles of “Matthew Crawley,” played by Dan Stevens, and “Lady Sybil Crawley,” played by Jessica Brown Findlay were recently wiped out.
They were also delighted by the feisty character of “Martha Levinson,” played by American actress Shirley MacLaine who joined the cast in Season Two for Lady Mary Crawley's wedding to Matthew Crawley.
Season Four will see new additions including the roles of “Lord Gillingham,” an old friend who visits the family, played by actor Tom Cullen, actor Nigel Harman as “Green” the valet, Dame Harriet Walter as “Lady Shackleton,” an old friend of the Dowager, the guest role of “Duchess of Yeovil” played by actress Joanna David and actor Julian Ovenden as the aristocrat “Charles Blake.”
Opera fans will be delighted to learn that New Zealand’s celebrated soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will play a houseguest who will sing during her visit!
This side of the Atlantic, Downtown Abbey is doing extremely well with a cult-like following, demonstrated by several cast members including Phyllis Logan, Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech, Amy Nuttall and Sophie McShera walking away with the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, which they received on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
It may be a bit of a spoiler but the show’s producers have confirmed that conniving housemaid “Sarah O’Brien” won't be returning as actress Siobhan Finneran is leaving the show.
Downton Abbey ended Season Three on PBS channels across America via Masterpiece Theatre, running from January 6 through February 17 on Sunday, with rebroadcasts on Thursdays (in Georgia).