Season 4 of Downton Abbey has found Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) in a bit of a romantic conundrum. Recently widowed, she’s had not one but two handsome suitors come calling and seems equally intrigued by both.
First came Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), an old childhood friend who’s grown into quite the strapping young man. Next arrived Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden), an enterprising government official who challenged Mary to think about her role as head of an estate. While the two men seem fairly evenly matched in most regards, we’ve just uncovered a secret talent that might give Charles an upper hand when it comes to winning Mary’s heart: He can sing!
And not just the can-carry-a-tune kind of singing. Julian has trained as an opera singer and won numerous music scholarships to prestigious institutions including Eton College and Oxford University. Get a sample of his musical prowess in the small collection of videos we’ve gathered below.
So will Julian be lending this very special gift to his performance on Downton? Perhaps. The 37-year-old actor — who, sorry ladies, is married — chatted with The Wire’s Esther Zuckerman, who asked if Charles might someday sing for Mary.
“Everyone asks this question,” he replied with a laugh. “Not yet. We haven’t unveiled him. I don’t know how you would include it.”
Um, any time’s a good time to sing when you have a voice like an angel! Julian adds that while he’s glad he didn’t have to follow the performance of famed opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who appeared in the January 12 episode, he’s not against the idea of a Downton Abbey concert.
“Who knows? It’s all in [show creator] Julian [Fellowes’s] mind,” he says. “So, wait and see. Maybe Downton the Musical. Maybe that’s what’s going to happen.”
Don’t even tease, Julian. Don’t even tease.
Julian Ovenden Sings “If I Loved You”
Julian Ovenden Sings “Younger Than Springtime”