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Manuela Cavaco

(N. 22 March, 1943 - M. March, 1943)

Manuela Cavaco was born in Montijo on March 22, 1943. She grew up in a neighborhood by the sea where fishermen dawned their nets on the street and sang. It was from them that she learned to sing when he was still a child about 5 or 6 years old.

She worked in sewing and, at the same time, listened to many radio programs and that was how she learned many fados, memorizing the lyrics of the greatest hits. Her friends invited her to perform at parties and she sang, too, on excursions that took her across the country.

Her career as a professional started with her son who sang in a choral group and convinced her to participate. In the performances of varieties Manuel Cavaco sang fado and, in a presentation, he was invited to perform in a show at the Montijo City Hall. After that show, invitations for more presentations followed.

Manuela Cavaco recorded two cassettes under the titles: “Que é Feito do Velho Fado” and “Fado”. He began to sing in the Montijo area and also in Alcochete, at several fado dinners organized by recreational associations.

One day, in a fado house in Lisbon, she asked to sing a fado and as her own account: “I lost count of how many I sang” ( She stayed for about 3 years in the cast of that restaurant. When this house closed he went to Taverna do Embuçado, where he was also around 4 years. Later he was singing at Forte D. Rodrigo.

Manuela Cavaco has more than 80 fados recorded. For Discoteca Amália, she recorded three CDs, in 1997, 1998 and 2000, with the titles: “Revelação”, “Notáveis Temas do Fado” and “Fados da Nossa Memória”. Subsequently he recorded “Noite de São João”, in author's edition, and in 2004 she recorded, for Metrosom, the album “Fado a Sério”.

Her great references are Amália Rodrigues and Maria Teresa de Noronha. She appreciates the simple poems where a story is told, telling us that: “fado must have a simple reading” and “the simpler the better” and, for this reason, Manuela Cavaco has a preference for traditional fado (Museu do Fado - Interview conducted on 21 July 2006).

In addition to the fado houses, Manuela Cavaco has performed on several stages in Portugal (Teatro Maria Matos, Teatro Taborda, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Centro Cultural de Belém, Casino Estoril, Forum Lisboa, etc.) and has made numerous trips abroad acting especially for Portuguese communities in the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, United States and Argentina.



Museu do Fado - Interview held on July 21, 2006

Manuela Cavaco

Manuela Cavaco

  • Avé Maria Fadista Manuela Cavaco (Gabriel de Oliveira/Francisco Viana)