What do you get when you cross a boundary-breaking, classical/folk musician with an innovative and versatile composer?  

We’re about to find out.



To begin the latter half of their 50th anniversary season, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra presents a new commission by composer-in-residence Kevin Lau written specially for singer Lizzy Hoyt.  

Inspired by a William Blake text, “The Ruins of Time” is a 7-movement song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra. Exploring the idea of time and how it manifests itself in many ways, Lau’s polystylistic period influences mirror the unique vocal skillset possessed by Hoyt.  

“I knew that this was a piece where I wanted to explore stylistic discrepancies and integrating different styles together so that they occupied the same space,” explains Lau.    

He goes on to say that using the “stylistic fluidity” of Hoyt as well as changing languages in the music serves as a sort of metaphor. “It’s almost like you’re going back in time to feel that passage of time.”   

A rising star in the classical music world and an already established one in the folk scene, Hoyt brings a dynamic dual tool kit to the stage.   

“The obvious thing is that there is not a lot of crossover between those two styles of singing,” says Hoyt, who just this past week was announced as a finalist in the “Traditional Singer of the Year” category in the Canadian Folk Music Awards.  

Though it isn’t as if they are mutually exclusive. The technique developed classically often influences the choices she makes as a folk singer and musician,  Hoyt says, with the same being true the opposite way.  

“It’s almost just (become) colour choices,” says Hoyt. “I feel like I have many paint colours in my paint box... that I have options. That I can make choices in the moment and in preparation for how I think I can best colour the music.”  

“Lizzy Hoyt and the MCO” takes place on Thursday, March 2 at Crescent Arts Centre/Crescent Fort Rouge United Church beginning at 7:30 p.m. Under the direction of Julian Pellicano, the concert also features two past MCO commissions of Jeffrey Ryan (2017) and Karen Sunabacka (2013) as well as music by Luigi Boccherini (1787) – who was not commissioned by the MCO.