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Shap's official guess isn't the one I was thinking of but I'll look for a synopsis to make sure it doesn't use the same plot. Back in Mozart's time many operas were just rewrites of the same story. That continued into the 19 century and the early 20th as well.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" but only slightly less well known is this...never go in against a Sicilian when Death is on the line....HA HA HA HA HA HA!"