I was brought up in a large Episcopal church and sang in the choir as a boy chorister, so I learned to read music when I was about 9-10 and was singing Bach, Haydn, Handel, Mozart and others -- the church was fairly high liturgy with a substantial music program.
I had a natural talent for singing, and as a boy soloist, sang at weddings, things like "O Perfect Love" and then, my "crowning moment" when I sang "Let the Bright Seraphim" by Handel.
As a teen and young guy, my voice progressed from tenor to baritone. When a boy has classical training, his voice changes slowly, unlike most boys, so at first I was a tenor for maybe 2 years then I was a baritone.
I continued to sing in chorales and Episcopal church choirs. I've sung Handel's "Messiah", Mozart's Requiem, Verdi Requiem, and other great classical liturgical works. I have also sung a full concert & orchestral version of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana".
In my 50s I was urged to try out for a local small opera company. I was hired for the chorus, and because I enjoyed it so much, I began professional voice lessons, and became quite good. Eventually my voice settled into a bass-baritone with a range of high A to a low E flat.
This opera company produces full legit operas, with the original language, costumes, makeup, sets, props, a genuine production. So along with the liturgical music, I've sung in English, Latin, German, French, and Italian.
The pinnacle of my 4-year operatic career was when I was offered a few solo roles, most of them "comprimario" (small) parts but then I sang "Antonio", the gardener in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro (le Nozze di Figaro). Believe me, memorizing maybe 30 pages of Italian lyrics isn't easy, but it was the most hard-work fun I've ever had. And standing there, on stage in the act 4 finale, singing "Perdono, perdono" (pardon) and being only one of 11 singers -- no chorus -- was amazing.
"Ineluctable modality of the visible..."