Laine Rettmer (she/they) is a North American visual artist and opera director. Rettmer’s visual art work has been presented nationally and internationally at the Vizcaya Museum, Miami; Manifesta; MoMA Public; the MFA, Boston; CreaTures Festival, Seville, Spain; the Illuminus Festival; the Yuan Art Museum; NADA NY, NADA Presents; and AREA gallery, among others.
Rettmer’s opera productions have been praised as “wickedly smart” and “devastatingly funny” by The New York Times, and “not only profound but also shattering” by the Observer. Their, Barber of Seville, was named one of the top 10 classical music productions of 2014 by the New York Times and La Bohème one of the best operas of the decade by the Observer. For four years Rettmer was the resident stage director for the New York based company LoftOpera, with whom their last production, Macbeth, received a Freddie Award for Best New Production and was nominated for Best Director. Rettmer has also worked extensively on new opera with such companies as New York City Opera, Ecce Ensemble, Guerrilla Opera, and Rhymes with Opera. In 2022, they directed a feature film version of the opera La Boheme which was a co-production between Opera Omaha, More than Musical, and Tri-Cities Opera, which is housed on Boston Lyric Opera’s digital media site, operabox.tv, and will have a commercial run through Toho Cinemas in Japan this spring. Recent awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a Warhol Foundation Grant, and multiple MAP Fund grants for the collaborative opera, Standby Snow: Chronicles of a Heat Wave, and the multimedia opera, Ellis, constructed from first-person accounts of immigration to the US. They have also been awarded an Art Alliance Fellowship from HFBK Hamburg, a research fellowship from the Center for Arts Design and Social Research, and residences at Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Iceland, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Foundation on Long Island, and MassArt’s Brant Gallery.
Rettmer currently serves as the Assistant Professor in Residence in the Photography Department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Previously, they have served as a residential scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Post-Graduate Fellow at Tufts University in Video and Digital Media. They hold a BFA in stage direction from New York University and an MFA in digital media from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.