EMI Classics has signed New Zealand soprano Elizabeth Marvelly to an exclusive recording deal.

The 18-year-old's self-titled debut EMI Classics CD opened at No. 8 on the New Zealand albums chart earlier this month, and went gold in five days after release.

Marvelly has since signed-up for a local tour in 2008 with Paul Potts, winner of the 2007 series of U.K. reality-TV program "Britain's Got Talent," and she has been confirmed to sing at Carols by Candlelight in Sydney.

Marvelly's CD will be released in Australia in early 2008, with the rest of the world to follow. The singer, who describes her style as "popera", has included on the disc a duet with tenor Alfie Boe, plus two of her own compositions and two traditional Maori songs.

Marvelly is the latest discovery of Gray Bartlett, who propelled fellow Kiwi Hayley Westenra to worldwide success.

Chris Caddick, managing director of EMI Music New Zealand, comments, "Elizabeth is an incredibly talented lady and a delight to work with."

In a statement, Costa Pilavachi, president of EMI Classics, added, "We are delighted that Elizabeth Marvelly has joined the EMI Classics family. Elizabeth has a tremendous voice coupled with intelligence and a winning personality - in other words, she is a real star."