The scene opens in the Nonnberg Abbey in Austria, where the nuns are observing mass. (“Dixit Dominus” / “Alleluia”) All the nuns and postulants are in attendance – except Maria. A search ensues. Meanwhile, Maria has lost track of time, enjoying the beauty of nature out in the hills around the town, and singing – which, we later learn, is against the nuns’ rules. They are only to sing in church. (“The Sound of Music”)
The next morning, back at the abbey, Mother Abbess and the nuns discuss which postulates wish to take on the novitiate. Maria has still not returned, and they are deeply concerned. While most of the postulates are coming along beautifully, the nuns are not sure that Maria is an asset to their abbey.
Most nuns are against her continued stay, though Sister Margaretta is charmed by her laugh and insists that she’s a darling. As they begin to discuss Maria’s misbehavior, Sister Sophia announces that Maria has returned. The Mother Abbess dismisses the nuns and