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María, a novice, admires cafe singer Juan, who is attempting to resist the advances of his partner, Lola. After seeing him from atop the wall of the convent, María builds up an aura of romance around him. Escaping from the convent, she meets Juan, who himself is fleeing from the fiesta and the police. Juan responds to her affectionately and is determined to adopt and protect her. With Esteban, his vocal teacher, and María, Juan goes to Madrid to audition for the opera. Having fallen in love with María, Juan becomes engaged to her; the spurned Lola encourages María's brother, Enrique, to separate them, claiming he has taken her from the Church. Juan pretends to reject her, and she returns to the cloister, but Juan is grief-stricken during a triumphant operatic performance. Lola appeals to the mother superior, who releases María, since she has not taken her final vows.