Breaking down barriers and uniting different musical genres on one stage are part of Canadian composer and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright's artistic motivation.

Blending an unexpected genres, for instance opera, into his pop creations have been "hidden weapons" the singer has used over the years, he tells CBC News.

In the attached video, Wainwright talks to CBC's Jelena Adzic about challenging himself musically and mixing Hector Berlioz with Richard Rodgers and his own compositions in a performance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Wainwright performs with the TSO in Toronto on Friday.