Homeless Singer Emily Zamourka Gives Her First Concert That’s Not in the Subway


You might say that Emily Zamourka struck it rich. The Moldavian born singer eventually moved to the US. She was homeless up until September 26 of last year. It was then that an LAPD officer posted her video singing a beautiful rendition of a Puccini aria. She was not singing in an opera house or a theater. Emily was singing at the Metro Purple Line subway station in Koreatown in Los Angeles.

Homeless For Two Years

Emily moved to the US in 1991. She made a living by teaching piano and violin lessons. She also had a variety of other jobs to pay her rent and her bills. Then, a few years ago, she suffered some serious health issues. On top of that, someone destroyed her violin, preventing her from being able to give lessons. She was unable to pay for her medical bills. Then she was unable to pay her rent, utilities, and other living expenses. Like many other people, Emily ended up living on the streets. 

Emily Oblivious To Her Viral Success

Emily was not immediately aware of her viral success. She said she has a simple, basic telephone and it does not have internet service. Then, she said, people started calling her. They would say, “Hey, you are on TV.” At first, she did not understand what they meant by this. She said the warmth she has received from her fans had renewed her strength. She said she would be very grateful to the people helping her to get off of the streets. She told ABC 7 News that a lot of people have sympathy for her. However, she does not want to become a burden to anyone. 

Her First ‘Official’ Public Performance

Her dream was to move from Russia to the US and become a singer. She reached her dream late last year when the 52-year-old soprano performed at the unveiling of the ‘Little Italy’ sign in San Pedro. She once again sang ‘O mio babbino caro.’ Thousands of fans turned out to support the singer. Following her performance, she thanked the audience and then discussed the homelessness crisis in California. 

Emily Demands Perfection

She told NBC, “I’m not a professional singer, but I’m very critical to how I’m going to sound or how I’m going to perform. It has to be delivered right.” Joel Diamond, a Grammy-nominated producer, found her to be a great singer. He wants to sign her for a classical-EDM crossover album called Paradise. He is the CEO and President of Silver Blue Records. He told ‘Good Morning America,’ “I actually wrote a deal memo to her, and I don’t even know her. I’ve never done that my entire life. It’s Crazy.”

Emily Has Many Fans

One of Emily’s fans is LA City Councilman Joe Buscalino. He is the man who offered the singer her first gig since the video went viral. His office is also working to find her housing to move to. Many other fans are showing their support on the fundraising site, GofundMe. Her page was set up to raise money to get her off the street. Additionally, it was to help her to purchase a new violin. The funds continue to grow and have reached more than $80,000. Emily says, “If it’s God’s will for my life to change, then I will praise him, and I will be so grateful to anyone who is trying to help me to get off of the streets. And to have my own place and to have my instrument.” It seems like Emily has just started her career, and success is not far away.