The homeless woman who went viral singing a Puccini aria in a Los Angeles subway station is giving voice to the story behind the widely shared video.
4 million people call LA home. 4 million stories. 4 million voices...sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful. pic.twitter.com/VzlmA0c6jX
Emily Zamourka, 52, was recorded singing a soaring version of “O mio babbino caro” by a Los Angeles Police Department officer last week, and the video posted Thursday on the LAPD’s Twitter page has garnered more than 287,000 views.
The soprano songstress had no idea she’d become Internet famous until multiple media outlets including NBC Los Angeles tracked her down Sunday.
“You know why I do it in the subway? Because it sounds so great,” she explained.
The pigtailed performer said she grew up in Russia and dreamed of being a singer but studied classical violin instead.
She was supporting herself with her mesmerizing musical gifts in Southern California until a medical crisis left her with crushing debt and someone stole her $10,000 violin about three years ago, she said.
“That’s when I became homeless. When I could not actually pay any of my bills and could not pay any more of my rent,” she said, according to ABC7.
“I am sleeping actually on the cardboard right now, in the parking lot,” she said. “I am sleeping where I can sleep. I have people that feel sorry for me, but I don’t want to be a burden to anybody.”
Zamourka said she dreams of a future when she can pursue her passion for music as a way to support herself again.
“I will be so grateful to anyone who is trying to help me to get off the streets, and to have my own place, to have my instrument,” she said.
The social media post that made Zamourka an online sensation included the caption: “4 million people call LA home. 4 million stories. 4 million voices… sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful.”