California

Mystery woman serenades an L.A. train platform with opera — and hits all the notes

A woman’s stunning voice transformed a Los Angeles train platform into an opera house in a video police shared on Twitter this week.

Dressed in a long skirt, holding several bags and pulling a cart, the pigtailed woman belts out an operatic tune at what appears to be a mostly empty Purple Line Metro station.

The Los Angeles Police Department shared the one-minute clip Thursday night, writing that “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 clip was recorded Wednesday as “the woman sings a famous Puccini aria,” CBSLA reports.

But who is the woman? And, as some wondered on Twitter, was the entire performance staged?

Police spokesman Sgt. Hector Guzman said an officer stationed at the Wilshire and Normandie Purple Line Station captured the clip and had a short chat with the mysterious woman, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It was powerful the first time we saw it, and every time we see it again, it’s still powerful,” Guzman said, according to the newspaper. “The message for us was simple: Remind ourselves to take a moment to look around and listen.”

Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo said the agency is unaware of the woman, according to the Times.

Some skeptics were quick to assume it was all planned.

“Sadly that looks like a fake set up,” one commenter said in a tweet that has been liked dozens of times. “Beautiful voice, nice thought behind it, but with her clean clothes, skin, and her pigtails and the perfectly placed rips in her bag etcetera, it just looks like a fake.”

Others commented that they had seen the singer on different train lines or at an El Pollo Loco restaurant, with one commenter writing that “I heard her singing at Civic Center earlier today. It was even better in person.”

Some even tagged “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and singer Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, apparently hoping they would discover the talented singer.

CBSLA reported that the video is “getting thousands of views on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” but “the woman’s identity remains a mystery” as of Friday.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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