When French opera singer David Serero was only two months old, he was struck by an ear infection so severe that it robbed him of his hearing.
For the next decade, Serero, now 32, was ensconced in silence. It was only when he turned 11 that doctors discovered what had happened and began a series of operations to restore his hearing.
He tells Life! over the telephone from Paris, where he was born and is currently based: "After I learnt how to speak again and talk normally, I just wanted to sing out loud, because it felt like my voice had been in a prison for years."
The baritone will be bringing his playlist of Broadway hits, opera classics and pop songs to Singapore for a solo concert next week at the Alliance Francaise Theatre. Serero, whose infectious enthusiasm is evident even over the telephone, says: "I mix all of that with some comedy, I try to make it funny and entertaining.
There is a lot of improvisation and I tell a lot of jokes."
He began his career by training in opera and dramatic theatre at the Rimsky- Korsakov Conservatory in Russia in 2004. That same year, he made his opera debut, with lead roles in the operas Tosca and La Traviata.
But the bachelor says: "Often, opera people stay only within opera. But for me, it's very important to sing other music because then when I come back to opera, I come back with fresh ideas."
That was part of the reason Serero began belting out showtunes on Broadway, playing characters such as his signature Don Quixote from Man Of La Mancha.
He has performed in more than 600 concerts all over the world, including at the Opera Garnier in Paris and the Dominion Theatre in London.