The Mute

The Mute (2019) was a symphonic performing arts production by Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. The Mute was made on commission, with text by Christian Eriksen and music by Janove Ottesen, with its world premiere in Stavanger Concert Hall March 29 2019. With seven near sold-out performances, The Mute beat SSO's former audience record.

Christian Eriksen and Arne Nøst directed the production.

The Mute received The Hedda Award 2019 in the production of the year category.

Arne Nøst, Christina Lovery and Jill Tonje Holter received The Hedda Award 2019 in the best stage design/costume design category for their stage design, costume design and masks for The Mute.


(Objekt ID 93040)
Object type Production
Premiere March 29, 2019
Running period March 29, 2019  
Website Stavanger Symfoniorkester - The Mute

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to The Mute:

"Good theatre is a fine interaction of several artistic genres. The season of 2018-2019 has offered several productions in which the relationship between the different elements have been well balanced, and each and every one of them has been expressed without dominating, but instead supported the whole. The production the jury has connected the most with excels in great originality and good acting, by using the space in a distinct way, through a very original stage design, powerful lighting, very conscious use of video, and music that perfectly matches the theme and visual style of the performance."

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to Arne Nøst, Christina Lovery and Jill Tonje Holter:

"The award is given for a visual whole which in a sober way gives voice to all of the venue, while giving a point of focus to the performers and the audience through a near minimal turning point. Life's vulnerability is caught through a love story, and the main installation of the stage design functions as a screen for the surroundings and the process of life, and for central symbols in the performance, such as a heart, a butterfly and a musical conductor's podium. Effects from silent movies is given expression in simple and at the same time elegant, partly over-dimensioned costumes and impression-rich use of masks, and when the orchestra eventually unfolds as props and an active part of the action, the palette for the graphic notation is shown as life and love itself, going beyond the predictable."

The Mute was a love story told without words. The language was music.

"I have always been fascinated of the idea of what happens when one removes the most obvious tool for communication, the language. The void it creates must be filled with something. Here, we fill it with music, body language and stage design in telling the story", said scriptwriter, actor and co-director Christian Eriksen. 


Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Press release 11.01.2019

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra,, 27.06.2019

The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

Sceneweb on The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

Contributors (11)
Name Role
Christian Eriksen – Playwright
Christian Eriksen – Direction
Arne Nøst – Direction
Janove Ottesen – Composer
Nick Davies – Conductor
Arne Nøst – Stage design
Gisle Kverndokk – Musical arrangement
Reidar Richardsen – Animation
Christian Eriksen – Actor
Nina Ellen Ødegård – Actor (Jenny)
Gaute Aadnesen – Project manager
Performance dates
March 29, 2019 Stavanger Konserthus
  • )
– Worldwide premiere
Awards - Nominations (1)