by Kelly Woo
A homeless woman in Los Angeles, Calif. has become a social media sensation for beautifully singing opera in a subway station.
Local news channels identified the woman as Emily Zamourka, 52, a classically trained violinist who immigrated from Russia 28 years ago. Exorbitant medical bills forced her onto the street, where she began performing to earn money.
Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted a video of Zamourka belting out Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” on the Purple Line’s Normandie/Wilshire Metro stop in Koreatown.
“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,” the LAPD wrote.
The video went viral, causing Twitter users to clamor for her identity and sending local reporters to seek her out.