PORTLAND – Soprano Lisa Saffer will present an intimate and lighthearted journey through the development of the opera aria at a PORTopera benefit recital Friday, Feb. 9, the University of Southern Maine.

Saffer will be accompanied by Martin Perry on piano and Katherine Shao on harpsichord.

The recital will provide “an engaging meander through operatic history, from Monteverdi to Mozart to Berg,” said Saffer, who has selected pieces from her own extensive repertoire and interests. Other composers will include Handel, Donizetti and Delibes.

Saffer’s recital will be informal, with some time spent on introductions to the pieces she selected.

Saffer received New York City Opera’s Diva Award and its Kolozsvar Award in recognition of her performances of new and unusual repertory. In addition, she is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award, London’s equivalent of New York’s Tony Award. Her concert work has taken her to virtually all of the leading American orchestras, and she also appears throughout Europe. She is a resident of Portland.

Tickets for the recital in Abromson Center and a reception with Saffer are $100 per person. For the recital only, tickets are $50/$35 per person. A student rate of $10 per person is also available; these tickets are for the performance only. For tickets, call the USM ticket office at 780-5951.

PORTopera is southern Maine’s only opera company performing fully staged operas with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The company celebrates its 13th season this year and will present Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” in July at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium. For more information, visit www.portopera.org.