Lizzie Marvelly

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Lizzie Marvelly
Birth nameElizabeth Lillian Marvelly
Born (1989-07-05) 5 July 1989 (age 31)
Rotorua, New Zealand
OriginAuckland, New Zealand
GenresClassical crossover, operatic pop, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active2006–present

Elizabeth Lillian Marvelly (born 5 July 1989) is a singer, songwriter, museum director and social commentator from Rotorua, New Zealand. She first achieved success as a classical crossover vocalist before switching to pop music. She runs the website Villanesse and has written for the New Zealand Herald, discussing feminist issues. In July 2020 she was appointed the director of Rotorua Museum.


Marvelly was born in Rotorua and is the only child of Brett Marvelly and Vlasta Marvelly nee Bartunek. Her mother's father was from Czechoslovakia. Her mother's mother Jean Kerrigan was from Ohinemutu[1] and through her Marvelly is descended from the Ngāti Whakaue[2] tribe of the Māori people.[1] She is related to entertainer Howard Morrison, who was her maternal grandfather's best friend.[3] Marvelly grew up in the Prince's Gate Hotel, built in 1897, which her parents owned.[4] She attended Rotorua Girls' High School, and then won a senior scholarship at King's College in Auckland for her seventh form year.[5] She graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology in 2015.[6]

Music career[edit]

Classical crossover music[edit]

She released her debut album under the name Elizabeth Marvelly on 3 December 2007 in New Zealand, and on 31 March 2008 in Australia. The self-titled pop-classical album was produced by Carl Doy. On the album Marvelly sings songs taken from a range of different genres and includes two original pieces. Her song "When You Are Sad" was reportedly written after a recent case of child abuse in her hometown Rotorua shocked the nation.

Marvelly's second classical crossover album, Home, was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Nick Patrick. The album featured the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a duet with Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts. As it was released on 21 February 2011, one day before the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Marvelly announced that she would be donating a portion of record sales to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

Pop music[edit]

In 2012, Marvelly sang as part of Flight of the Conchords supergroup charity single "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)". The song reached number one in the New Zealand charts.[7]

In 2013, Marvelly announced that she would be pursuing a pop career, as she had become dissatisfied with her classical crossover career, and also wanted to sing her own compositions. She said, "I just thought music is my life and if it's going to be my life long-term, then it has to be music that I actually love everything about."[3]

In January 2014, Marvelly launched her pop career, using the name Lizzie Marvelly. Her first pop single, "Generation Young", was also released in January, with her EP Collisions released in July, peaking at number 14 on the charts.[8][failed verification]

In August 2015, Marvelly released her first single with New Zealand hip hop DJ P-Money. Entitled 'Made For You', the song featured in New Zealand hip hop film 'Born To Dance'. In October the same year Marvelly released a remix of 'Made For You' featuring New Zealand rapper K.One.

Live performances[edit]

Since 2006, Marvelly has performed in a number of high-profile concerts in New Zealand, supporting artists such as Sir Howard Morrison, Dame Malvina Major and Amici Forever star Geoff Sewell. She also supported Paul Potts on his New Zealand and Australian tour in 2008, later joining him on further international dates.[9]

Marvelly is also well known in New Zealand for her performances singing the New Zealand national anthem at rugby test matches in New Zealand and abroad.[3] She performed the national anthem at the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final.[10]

Social commentary[edit]

In May 2015, Marvelly launched Villainesse, a feminist website for young women.[11] In September that year she launched the first Villainesse project, "#MyBodyMyTerms",[12] a global campaign to spark conversation about sexual violence, victim-blaming, revenge porn and consent.

From January 2016 to April 2020, she wrote a regular column in the New Zealand Herald where she commented on social issues.[13] In a February 2017 column she criticised the conservative Christian lobby group Family First New Zealand for opposing transgender individuals for using toilets not reflecting the sex of their birth.[14] In 2015, Marvelly was a finalist of the Wintec Press Club's Best Writer in New Zealand Award.[15]

Museum career[edit]

In July 2020 she was appointed the director of Rotorua Museum.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In May 2018, Marvelly revealed publicly that she was bisexual. She had earlier come out to friends, then her family, then colleagues. She said that while 'it shouldn't be a big deal' in 2018, it had not been easy. 'I didn't know I was bi until my early 20s. I didn't know if the people I loved would be okay with it. 'I'm a very private person when it comes to my personal life, and I didn't know whether I could deal with the scrutiny of having my sexuality highlighted in the media.'[16]



Year Title Details Peak chart
2007 Elizabeth Marvelly
  • Released: 3 December 2007
  • Label: EMI Music New Zealand
2009 Home
  • Released: 21 February 2011
  • Label: EMI Music New Zealand
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Details Peak chart
2014 Collisions
  • Released: 4 July 2014
  • Label: Marvellous Music
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2014 "Generation Young" Collisions EP
"My Own Hero"
2015 "Made for You" Non-album single
"Team, Ball, Player, Thing"
(#KiwisCureBatten featuring Lorde, Kimbra, Brooke Fraser, et al.)
Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b Husband, Dale (11 February 2018). "Lizzie Marvelly: Writing columns on Māori — and then despairing at the vile backlash". E-tangata. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Lizzie Marvelly appointed new director of Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa". Rotorua Daily Post. NZME. 3 July 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2021 – via The New Zealand Herald.
  3. ^ a b c Kara, Scott (22 June 2013). "Elizabeth Marvelly: Singing to her own tune". NZ Herald. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Martin, Charles (3 April 2018). "Lizzie Marvelly: A national treasure". UNO Magazine. Mount Maunganui. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  5. ^ Hewitson, Michele (12 July 2014). "Michele Hewitson interview: Lizzie Marvelly". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Lizzie Marvelly to join Massey's latest graduates". Massey University. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That) feat. Guest Artists". Amplifier. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Weber, Adriana (11 January 2014). "Interview: Lizzie Marvelly". Rotorua Daily Post. Retrieved 31 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Elizabeth Marvelly Reunites With Paul Potts For Huge Taiwan Concert". Amplifier. Amplifier Holdings Ltd. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Lizzie Marvelly: More than just a singer". New Zealand Herald. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Lizzie Marvelly: Why I still love the f-word". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Vagianos, Alanna (1 October 2015). "13 Powerful Photos Show People Declaring 'My Body, My Terms'" – via Huff Post.
  13. ^ Lizzie Marvelly: Teens are having sex and watching porn – deal with it, New Zealand Herald, 9 January 2016
  14. ^ Marvelly, Lizzie (25 February 2017). "Lizzie Marvelly: Our toilets are the new battleground". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "The Wintec Press Club Awards – "The Pitiful irony is That This Time of Crisis is Also a Golden Period of Good Writing"". The Spinoff. 31 October 2015.
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b "ELIZABETH MARVELLY IN NEW ZEALAND CHARTS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Gold and platinum New Zealand albums to 2013". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 July 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "LIZZIE MARVELLY IN NEW ZEALAND CHARTS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 August 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]