As both a registered nurse and a singer Petah understands the physiology of the voice and the stresses which operate on it, enabling her to determine what it can achieve and when it is capable of coping with advanced training.
Petah has always wanted to "know" and set out to acquire as much knowledge as possible in her chosen field. This set her on a path which involved intensive study of Performance and Stage Craft, Style, Voice and Languages.
Petah lived in Austria for a period, teaching Movement and Voice at Schauspielschule Krauss, Perle Gasse, Vienna. Here she increased her knowledge by becoming proficient in the operatic languages; having already learnt Latin and French at school she went on to study:
- German at the Goethe Institute in Sydney and also at Urania in Vienna
- Italian at the Centro di Cultura per Stranieri in Florence
On returning to Australia Petah obtained in quick succession:
- Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, with a double Major in Fine Arts (Art History)
- Graduate Diploma in Arts Administration from the University of South Australia
- Master of Arts from the University of New South Wales specialising in Drama (Theatre and Film)
While still completing her Masters degree, Petah was contracted to be the Head of both the Voice and Music Theatre Departments at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM).
A dedicated tertiary teacher Petah actively guided the future careers of the students with whom she was involved, supervising studies up to and including Masters level, and staging Opera and Music Theatre productions, Plays and Recitals enabling them to gain valuable practical experience. She was also engaged in:
- Adjudicating for the City of Sydney Eisteddfod in Lieder & Music Theatre
- Providing executive coaching services for Optus and other corporate bodies
- Being a guest Professor at Nagoya University of the Arts, Japan, teaching opera style and languages
- Producing Yeoman of the Guard for the Rockdale Opera Company
Petah directed the first out-door opera production in Western Sydney, presenting Mozart's "The Impresario" at Parramatta Farm as part of an events management association between her company 'Opera Unlimited' and the Historic Houses Trust NSW. The aim of the association was the design and production of entertainment and catering appropriate to Sydney's historic houses, and included productions at Elizabeth Bay House, and Vaucluse House.
She also formed "Colla Voce", a corporate 4-part harmony vocal group performing classical repertoire and contemporary material with a classical spin. Clients included NRMA and Corporate Banking functions.
After nine years as a successful administrator and teacher with AIM, Petah resigned and was briefly associated with the Australian International Conservatorium of Music, before deciding to teach privately as an independent singing and drama teacher.
Petah has been teaching voice for over 20 years and has many successess to her credit with former students working professionally in the entertainment field in everything from burlesque to opera.