Houston – July 10, 2019—Houston Grand Opera (HGO) announces that HGOco, its education and community engagement initiative, is the winner of a bronze 2019 Telly Award in the Arts & Culture Category for “Boundless,” Episode 1 of the company’s innovative Star-Cross’d. web series. “Boundless” was based on “I Can Die Now,” a true story by Houstonian Aryana Rose that first aired on The Moth and is one of the most-listened-to segments in The Moth’s history.

The specific award designation for “Boundless” is Non-Broadcast General – Cultural. The Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television across all screens. In 2018, Houston Grand Opera received both a gold and a bronze Telly for The Ring Cycle in the categories of Branded Content Craft–Directing and Branded Content General–Events.

HGOco’s Star-Cross’d is a streaming series of short opera videos based on personal experiences of Houstonians with Romeo and Juliet themes. The series premiered on the web in April 2018 with “Boundless.” Each episode includes a line from Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. Episode 2, titled “NOW,” was named a semi-finalist of the 2019 Just 4 Shorts in Los Angeles. Additionally, Houston’s 23rd Annual Q-Fest will screen “NOW” on opening night of the festival as an opener for the newly restored film “Paris is Burning.”

“We are honored to be recognized with a Telly Award for our inaugural Star-Cross’d web production, ‘Boundless,’” says Carleen Graham, director of HGOco. “It was truly a team effort involving creative and visionary people to take this true story from a local Houstonian and transform it into an opera. With the popularity of the online series, we hope that Star-Cross’d speaks to younger viewers about opera in a fresh way.”

“Boundless” is a co-production of HGOco and North Carolina-based Junction Road Pictures, and was shot on location in Houston. It tells the story of Alma, a middle-aged woman who seeks personal fulfillment at a crossroads in her life and begins a relationship with Luc, an artistic soul 16 years her junior. When a shadow looms over their happy ending, Alma guides her lover to his destiny.

The composer for the Star-Cross’d series “Boundless” is Avner Dorman; the librettist is Stephanie Fleischmann. The Houston-based cast included Cecilia Duarte as Alma, Mark Thomas as Luc, and Alexandra Smither as Sophie.


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