articles / Pop Culture

Homeless ‘Subway Soprano’ Serenades Social Media

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.

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.

Crowdfunding pages emerged to help Ms. Zamourka find housing and replace her violin. She has also been offered a recording contract by Grammy-nominated producer Joel Diamond.

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.

Written by:
Ricardo Barton
Ricardo Barton
Published on 10.04.2019