WATCH: Police video of homeless woman singing opera in subway mesmerizes commuters

, / 07:56 PM October 01, 2019

A homeless woman was recorded singing opera in the Los Angeles metro transit system in California, United States last Thursday, Sept. 26.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) posted a short video of the woman’s performance on their Twitter page on the same day.


“4 million people call LA home,” LAPD said. “4 million stories. 4 million voices…sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful.”

The clip shows the blond woman in pigtails singing a beautiful rendition of an aria (an opera piece) by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, as she stands on a metro platform with a cart and several bags.

A police spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that the encounter with the officer who shot the video was spontaneous.

American media have identified the soprano as Emily Zamourka, 52, and said she was a trained violinist and pianist who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia when she was 24 years old.

ABC-affiliate KABC said Zamourka has no formal training as an opera singer, and had been a teacher before she fell on hard times because of health issues.

“I am sleeping actually on the cardboard right now, in the parking lot,” she told the news outlet. “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.”


She added that she would be grateful for help to get off the streets and to have a roof over her head as well as musical instruments.

“You know why I [sing] in the subway?” she said. “Because it sounds so great.”

Sgt. Hector Guzman, a spokesman for the LAPD told Los Angeles Times that Zamourka’s voice had struck a chord with officers.

“It was powerful the first time we saw it, and every time we see it again, it’s still powerful,” he told the newspaper, adding that he has watched the video 50 times. “The message for us was simple: remind ourselves to take a moment to look around and listen.” Ryan Arcadio/JB


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TAGS: Homeless, Los Angeles, opera, transit system, United States
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