Today will mark the 12th time that the Cal Poly Music Department will perform its RSVP production. Like the previous years, the audience won’t know exactly what they’re watching until the show is underway.

“It’s kind of a weird tradition that RSVP is always kept secret,” said music senior Michael Annuzzi, one of the students responsible for RSVP XII’s production this year. “Every year is something different.”

The subtitle to the 2007 performance is Ligatures, and the show promises to focus on melody while “exploring the primeval elements of music,” according to its description.

“We usually refer to it as a transmedia event,” RSVP director and Cal Poly music professor Antonio Barata said. “I think it will be intriguing.”

“It’s a transmedia performance meaning we get to use all aspects of media to create sounds,” Annuzzi said.

The planning for RSVP XII began almost immediately after last year’s performance, Barata said.

He began formulating ideas during the spring and summer, and then started getting the students involved in the fall.

While Barata directs and coordinates the show, the students in his sound design class do the bulk of the production work.

“They do just about everything,” Barata said. “I think people will be surprised. It’s quite professional. (They) take ownership in it.”

In addition, to the musical content of the show, the students are also in charge of prop construction, set design, writing the scripts and generating publicity.

“We usually get a sold out crowd,” Annuzzi said.

For the sound creation, Barata’s sound design class uses computer programs like Pro Tools and others to create electro-acoustics or digital recordings of music, sound, and noise.

“You can create 100 different kinds of cello, for example,” Annuzzi said. “It’s so incredible that students have access to this studio by taking the (sound design) class.”

What will people experience this year?

“It’s not quite a concert, not quite a play,” Barata said. “This year people can expect to see acting, live music, puppets, smoke and lights. So we have everything from a live rock band to singing puppets.”

Barata himself will even be acting in the performance, which is nothing new. He created the RSVP production in the mid-’90s with the goal of presenting music and sound in a different way than just a concert.

“I really wanted audiences to react and respond,” he said.

The show will be held in the Pavilion adjacent to the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center today and Thursday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11 and can be purchased in the PAC ticket office or online at

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