1560: The first children are castrated for use in the Sistine Chapel Choir. 1589: Pope Sixtus V issues a papal Bull approving the recruitment of castrati for the choir of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. By 1625 all sopranos in the Sistine Chapel choir are castrati. By 1789 there were more than 200 castrati in Rome’s chapel choirs alone. During the 17th and 18th centuries in Italy, some 4,000 - 5,000 boys aged between 7 and 9 are castrated annually for the Church.