Video of a homeless woman singing an Italian opera on a Los Angeles subway platform has become a social media sensation, inspiring multiple offers of professional and financial support.
Viewers have reached out through social media to offer Emily Zamourka, 52, housing in the form of an Airbnb. One California man has invited her to perform at a local event and set up a Gofundme campaign to raise money to replace an instrument Zamourka said was stolen from her, according to local media reports.
“I just can’t believe that that’s happening,” Zamourka told reporters.
The initial video, which was captured by a Los Angles Police Department (LAPD) officer, shows her singing “O Mio Babbino Caro” by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini as she stands loaded with bags on the platform.
Several Twitter users replied to the LAPD’s Twitter post to say they recognized the woman, and she later appeared in an interview with NBC Los Angeles.
Zamourka grew up in Russia and moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to become a singer and performer. For years, she sang and played the violin and supplemented her income by teaching piano lessons. After her violin was stolen in 2016, Zamourka struggled to pay the bills and was soon evicted from her apartment.
“That’s when all the problems started,” Zamourka said.
The clip posted on LAPD’s social media account with 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” had been watched over 280,000 times by Monday.