The incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne (usually translated as 'The Girl from Arles') was composed by Georges Bizet for the first performance of the play in 1872. It consists of 27 numbers (some only a few bars) for voice, chorus, and small orchestra, ranging from short solos to longer entr'actes.
Bizet wrote several folk-like themes for the music but also incorporated three existing tunes from a folk-music collection published by Vidal of Aix in 1864: the Marcho dei Rei, the Danse dei Chivau-Frus, and Er dou Guet. The score achieves powerful dramatic ends with the most economic of means. Still, it received poor reviews in the wake of the premiere and is not much performed nowadays in its original form. It has survived and flourished, however, in the form of two suites for orchestra.