Oftentimes, being filmed by police might cause anxiety for the person on the other side of the lens. In the case of a LAPD officer and the Subway Soprano. The officer, amazed by her beautiful voice as she sang Puccini in the near empty Wilshire-Normandie Metro subway in Los Angeles, politely asked her permission to film her singing.
Emily Zamourka, shy and reluctant at first, eventually agreed and sang O mio babbino cara for him. Naturally, wanting to share her amazing talent, the officer posted the video online last week which, not surprisingly, went viral.
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
Music producer Joel Diamond watched the video and was so impressed he offered Zamourka a record deal. According to TMZ, Diamond has drawn up an offer for the subway singer with the hope of creating a ‘huge classical/EDM crossover hit record for the subway soprano’. The deal would be for one initial record titled Paradise, which would be released on the producer’s label, Silver Blue Records.
As yet, it has not been confirmed whether Zamourka accepted Diamond’s offer but, in the meantime, she has reportedly been offered a gig on Saturday night to sing at an Italian heritage event in Los Angeles.
According to The Los Angeles Times the Russian-born singer learned to sing by imitating opera performers on TV as a child. Her homelessness, she explained, comes after years of financial difficulties and serious health problems. She has since been sleeping wherever she can, surviving on government aid of $400 a month.
As Zamourka’s fame grew online, some people believed it was fake, with a few convinced she was actually a trained actor ‘singing’ on the subway platform to gain social media attention.
Branimir Kvartuc, a spokesperson for Councilman Joe Buscaino who tried locating the singer, said those responses are indicative of the association of homelessness with drug addiction or mental illness, the LA Times reported.
‘’Way too many people have categorized the homeless as a certain kind of class. That’s not the case. The majority of people are just people,’’ Kvartuc commented.
Zamourka studied classical piano and violin as a child. She played the violin for the public on the streets until someone took and broke the instrument. Very sad, but perhaps fortuitous in this case as this prompted her to sing instead.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the 52-year-old with her financial difficulties as well as to allow her to replace her violin. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that people reached out to buy Zamourka a new violin directly but she declined. The LAPD is said to have put her in touch with its Homeless Outreach Team.
We look forward to hearing Zamourka’s singing many more songs soon.