Manuel Maria Lamarque Escórcio
Manuel Escorcio, a lyric tenor, is a freelance musician and legendary singer in South Africa who sings in Afrikaans, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. He sang in opera for twenty years before leaving the stage in 1992 to assist in evangelism in the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Manuel was born in Lourenzo Marques, Mozambique, and enrolled at Helderberg High School and College, near Cape Town in South Africa in 1966 at age sixteen. His talent was discovered by a dormitory assistant, who upon hearing him sing immediately called the choir and voice teacher, Wilhelmina Dunbar. "You ought to hear this new kid sing in the shower! He should be in your choir!" She quickly came and stood outside the shower room and was impressed by what she was hearing.
Escorcio took voice lessons from Dunbar and, after graduating from Helderberg with a degree in theology in 1972, completed an M.Mus. at the University of Cape Town in 1982. He taught at the University of Stellenbosch and became a licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music in London and a licentiate in performance at the University of South Africa. He directed the choir at Helderberg College in 1972.
Escorcio has sung the tenor part in every symphonic work in the repertoire and, as principal lyric tenor of the Cape Town City Opera for twelve years, sang in over forty opera and stage production roles. In 1986 and 1990, he was voted South Africa's most popular singer and has won several singing awards in South Africa in radio and television, including South Africa's Opera Prize. He is often described as one of the most popular male vocalists in that country.
Escorcio has also won international medals in performance in Salzburg, Austria, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was given the medal and title of "Comendador of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator" by the Portuguese government in recognition of his services to music. He has recorded fifty CD's of music ranging from light classics to contemporary gospel in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Afrikaans. Three of his CDs have achieved gold status and two others reached platinum status.
Sources: Information provided by Manuel Escorcia, 1996; Dick Duerksen, "Manuel Escorcio: Dialogue with a South African international singer," College and University Dialogue (http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/11), 2006; CD Liners; Biography in IAMA Notes, Autumn 1996; Email exchanges with Wilhelmina Dunbar, February -June 2011. All of the songs on his CD, God Loves Kids, also translated into Afrikaans as God Het Kiders Lief, were written by Dunbar.
A Partial Listing
My Favorite Hymns
I’ll Walk With God Select Music 1996
I Have Returned
Symphony of Praise
I’d Rather Have Jesus
The Tenor Voice
Love & Romance
For purchase information contact: Manuel Escorcio, c/o Debi Austin; 805 Evergreen Drive; Lodi, California 95242; U.S.A. Phone 209-339-0317.