Have you ever taken a subway ride through a major metropolitan city and been greeted with the beautiful sounds of a talented performer? This scenario unfolds rather frequently in expensive and talented cities of the world, including New York City, San Francisco, Paris, and, of course, Los Angeles. But it is the last city on that list where this story takes place – and it ends with a shocking twist.
One passerby fell in love with the vocal performance of one subway singer, filmed it, and the content has since gone viral the world over. However, a tragic story around the vocalist has since followed the story and has made people question the American health care system as it is. If a singer this talented cannot afford medical bills – and was driven homeless as a result – how is an ordinary citizen with only average talent supposed to keep up with mountain medical expenses?
The singer, 52-year-old Emily Zamourka, is a classically-trained vocalist. She was captured on video singing at a lonely subway station in Koreatown in Downtown Los Angeles.
The busy public transportation stop in the City of Angeles was made more beautiful by the sounds of Zamourka’s voice.
The video of her performance was captured by a police officer who was utterly struck by how well Zamourka, a soprano, could sing. She serenaded the police officer with a lovely aria from a Puccini opera.
After the police officer shared the video on social media, Zamourka’s friends came forward to identify the 52-year-old singer. While she is clutching bags of her possessions in the video – clearly stricken with homelessness – her friends articulated how that was not the only horrible scenario she had to deal with.
Zamourka was made homeless because of the rising cost of health care in America. As health care bills mounted, she met with a second misfortunate after a thief stole her $10,000 violin while she was on the bitter streets of Los Angeles.
Zamourka was born in Russia in 1967. She fled the country in 1991, moving to Los Angeles to pursue her love of music. From 1991 to the 2000s, the talented singer made a living teaching music lessons and singing. But when she started to fall in from 2001 to 2016, the medical bills kept mounting. She was unable to pay the expenses on a music teacher’s salary, and so she plays her violin on the streets to make extra money.
But in 2016, a criminal stole her violin while she was trying to use it to help pay her medical bills. After that, she lost her ability to not only pay the medical bills but her rent as well. Her landlord evicted her, which forced her to fend for herself on the cruel streets of Los Angeles.
When the Los Angeles Police Department officer noticed her singing and shared the video online, Zamourka became an internet sensation. Maybe she’ll be able to ride the wave of that success and get back on her feet.
What do you think about this singer’s struggle to survive?
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