Emily Zamourka has become known as the “Subway Soprano” after the Los Angeles Police Department posted a video of her performing Giacomo Puccini’s famous aria “O mio babbino caro”.
She’s also one of approximately 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County.
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
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) September 27, 2019
Zamourka told the Los Angeles Times that she learned play the violin and piano in Russia and moved to the US when she was 24. But when she suffered an injury and had her violin destroyed three years ago, she lost her way to earn a living.
“That’s when I became homeless. When I could not actually pay any of my bills and could not pay anymore of my rent,” she told news outlet KABC.
The video was recorded Monday by an LAPD officer and posted on the headquarters Twitter page. It quickly went viral – now with over one million views – and is already having a major impact on her life.
Branimir Kvartuc, spokesman for Los Angeles Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose office is now working to find her housing, says she has accepted an invite to perform at an event this Saturday hosted by the Little Italy of Los Angeles Association.
About the homeless crisis in Los Angeles, he says, “We are trying to house people, but there is a gross deficiency of housing available… Some people think that the homeless are just drug-takers or a bunch of losers, but we want to change the narrative of what a homeless person is.”
Zamourka, overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, asked to meet the officer who had filmed the video. Her wish was granted.
We saw with our brains, but we listened with our hearts.
Her voice continues to captivate our city, and as the offers for help pour in, we asked: “Emily, what can we do for you?” Her answer: “I want to thank Officer Frazier for taking the video.”
Her wish was granted tonight. pic.twitter.com/lH4V51YTZ4
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) October 3, 2019