Indeed, Cornell was enamored with these divas of the past—much as he was with their contemporaneous dancers. Marked as his golden age of discoveries, Cornell stumbled across a lithographic portrait of the soprano, Giuditta Pasta while browsing the second hand stores on Fourth Avenue in 1942. His vision of Pasta soon became entwined with a passionate interest in other opera singers of the period, most notably Pasta’s rival Maria Malibran. Never forgetting his early childhood experience of hearing Rossini’s The Barber of Seville during a vacation in the Adirondack mountains, north of New York, Cornell would certainly have known through his research that the opera was infamously associated with both Pasta and Malibran. Rossini created the role of Count Almaviva in this opera for the father of Malibran, and, curiously, she first performed in public when, aged only seventeen, she sang the part of Rosina in the opera as a replacement for Pasta when the latter was taken ill. Shortly thereafter Malibran came to America in a troupe that was the first to sing Italian opera in New York. Cornell also found great interest in Paulien Viardot-Garcia, Malibran’s sister and a famous mezzo singer in her own right. Pauline composed operettas to the libretti of her great admirer, Russian author Ivan Turgenev, and was the protegée of the author George Sand. A fourth figure was Giulia Grisi who, like the more famous Pasta and Malibran, practiced the virtuoso andflorid type of singing known as bel canto.