A belting baritone is wowing crowds at a Watertown, Massachusetts, market this season and much to his employer’s surprise, the singing star was behind the store’s counter the whole time.
Guilherme Assuncao, known as "Gillie," recently moved from Brazil and just started at Russo's Market a few months ago. The 23-year-old helps wash dishes, prepares hot foods and slices deli meat, but when an opportunity to showcase his operatic voice came about over the weekend, he was all in.
Crews were setting up for a live holiday music performance that the market hosts for shoppers to enjoy during the season. Assuncao asked if they needed help with a sound check, and when he took the microphone, his co-workers could hardly believe their ears.
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"I didn't have any idea at all," store owner Tony Russo said. "But wow is he good. He is really good and really special."
Assuncao was known to perform in Brazil, but had not showcased his talent beyond karaoke since he moved. His impromptu concert was so impressive, the group scheduled to perform asked him to be a part of it.
"It was definitely a wonderful chance that happened," said Olga Lisovskaya, who invited to Assuncao to sing. "What is really incredible is that his soul and heart come through his voice and that is something you cannot teach."
The songs he sang over the weekend were captured on video and posted to the market’s Facebook page. They have since been viewed tens of thousands of times. Customers have started to ask him to sing acapella in the aisles.
"I really hope this can open some doors because I really want to pursue music," Assuncao said.
Assuncao hopes to one day study music at Berklee, but in the meantime his managers at Russo’s say they are working on adding more performances to keep up with demand.
"The emotion that I feel when I’m singing for the public, it is just unexplainable," Assuncao said. "It's unbelievable. I just love it."