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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

The producers of Downton Abbey announced some time ago that Kiri Te Kanawa would be singing on the show this upcoming season at a party to raise Lady Mary’s spirits.  (She is a little depressed after Matthew’s death, after all, and what better thing to do than throw a party with an international opera star.)

The New Zealand-born singer said “I couldn’t say yes fast enough” to appearing in a show she loves – and enjoyed her time on set so much she named her new dog Abbey.

Well,  it seems that Dame Kiri’s role will be as real-life Nellie Melba.   If you aren’t an opera historian, Nellie Melba was a famous Australian operatic soprano in the 20th century.  You might know her best by a few food items which were created in her honor by the French chef Auguste Escoffier:

  • Peach Melba, a dessert
  • Melba sauce, a sweet purée of raspberries and red currant
  • Melba toast, a crisp dry toast
  • Melba Garniture, chicken, truffles and mushrooms stuffed into tomatoes with velouté sauce